Power substation explosion causes blackout for thousands in Fort Lauderdale
FPL reported on Wednesday morning that power had been restored for all customers who lost electricity following a substation explosion Tuesday evening that caused a partial blackout in Fort Lauderdale and forced evacuation of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts during the opening night of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
About 8 p.m. Fort Lauderdale police received a call regarding the explosion, said police spokesperson Casey Liening.
Police said lightning struck the substation, located at 426 NW Sixth Ave., and caused the fire. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue quickly responded to the scene and got the fire under control. No injuries were reported.
“There’s residents without power right now — I’m one of them,” Liening said.
FPL said in a statement to the Miami Herald that about 22,000 customers were affected by the blackout as of 9:50 p.m. At one point Tuesday evening, the utility’s power outage tracker showed 33,691 customers without power in Broward County. The number of affected customers dropped down to about 14,000 just before 11 p.m.
“We are aware of a service interruption and substation fire in Fort Lauderdale and we apologize for the inconvenience this has created for our customers,” the company wrote. “We are investigating the cause of the incident.”
Videos posted to social media by Nova Southeastern University men’s soccer coach Matt Watts show a plume of black smoke rising from outside downtown Fort Lauderdale, as cars maneuver through darkened streets with no working traffic lights.
Greg Meyer, a spokesman with the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said the airport was not affected by the blackout, and if it were, a redundant system would ensure the airport’s operation.
“We have had no impact,” he said.
A spokesperson for Port Everglades did not respond to a request for comment.