People without electricty are hot-tempered over the hot temperatures as the post-Irma power struggle continues.
And they're directing their fire at Florida Power & Light.
“Last night, we got a recording saying our power would be on by Monday and I’ve not seen a single truck,” North Miami Beach’s Joe Shine said.
FPL’s Power Tracker claimed 94,290 remained without power in Miami-Dade County and 25,040 sans electricity in Broward County as of 5:40 p.m. Sunday. When Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced a Monday reopening back at noon Sunday, the number stood around 125,000. The electrical monopoly remained steadfast that 95 percent of Miami-Dade County would have power by the end of Monday and that the lights would be back on everywhere across Miami-Dade Tuesday.
Irma blew out the lights last weekend and did so side-swiping Miami-Dade and Broward with tropical-storm-force, outer-band winds. Patience has been drained.
When a Saturday Miami Herald story reported FPL spokesman Rob Gould’s assertion that, “We’ve replaced wood poles with concrete poles. We did not lose a single pole in our system to the wind itself,” some readers sent emails casting doubt on Gould’s claim.
FPL spokesman Bryan Garner said Sunday evening that none of the utility’s 2,000 dropped poles, all of which he called among the secondary, “neighborhood” poles, were felled by wind. All, Garner said, got dropped by wind-blown trees and debris.
As an example, he pointed to Coral Gables and Pinecrest, “places with big, beautiful trees” in a South Florida that hadn’t seen a major hurricane since Wilma in 2005.
“Irma was Mother Nature’s housecleaning,” he said
Garner said the hardened poles on the main feeder lines, which take power to 1,000 or more homes, can withstand 145 mph winds.
“The neighborhood poles can take less,” Garner said. “But if winds, even tropical storm or Category 1 winds, blow pieces of debris or trees around, it’s going to compromise the wires and those poles.”
Joel Berger, who lives in the 21300 block of Northeast 23rd Avenue, sent a photo of a leaning wooden power pole with: “There are two of these on our block alone....Two poles within five houses of ours. Been out of power since Saturday. FPL failed this catastrophe.”