Tropical winds from Hurricane Irma picked up in South Florida Saturday afternoon, and so did Florida Power & Light outages.
At 6 p.m. in Miami-Dade County, 57,170 homes and businesses were without power, according to FPL. That’s about 5 percent of its 1.1 million customers. Service to another 70,170 customers was impacted but had been restored. Outages began being reported Saturday morning.
In Broward County, 25,890 homes and businesses were without power at 6 p.m., nearly 3 percent of FPL’s customer base, and power had been restored to 10,780 properties. FPL has 933,300 customers in Broward, where a tornado touched down in Oakland Park early Saturday evening.
In Palm Beach County, 3,260 of its 739,000 customers were experiencing an outage. An additional 7,170 customers had outages, but their power has been restored.
FPL crews can work to restore power as long as winds are less than 35 mph. After that, they will wait until it is safe again for crews.
“Some customers may experience more than one outage throughout the duration of the event, and prolonged outages may occur, especially if Irma’s impact requires rebuilding part of the electric system before power can be restored,” FPL officials said Saturday.
Given Irma’s new projected path, FPL anticipates that much of its electric system in Southwest Florida will need to be rebuilt, which could take weeks. At 6 p.m., relatively few outages hade been reported in FPL’s service area. The company anticipates the damage on Florida’s East Coast to be less severe, allowing for a restoration effort that may be completed within days of the storm passing.
To report an outage or check status, go to www.fplmaps.com.
Earlier this week, Florida Power & Light urged its customers Tuesday “to prepare for potentially prolonged power outages” as Hurricane Irma was on a path toward the utility giant’s 5 million-customer region.
The Palm Beach Post contributed to this bulletin, which will be updated.