The number of power outages in Georgia continued to drop Wednesday after Irma slogged through the state as a tropical storm, claiming at least two lives.
Most outages were in Florida Power & Light's service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state. People in western Florida, closer to where Irma made landfall on Sunday, should have it back by September 22, almost two weeks after that happened.
More than 60,000 workers from across the United States and Canada were involved in the restoration efforts, including those from the affected companies and other utilities, said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group. Several hard-hit Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, suffered more than half the fatalities.
The nursing home didn't experience a full-blown outage during the storm, but it did lose a transformer that powered its air conditioning.
While sewage and water service are still reportedly working in many areas hit by Irma, a number of Florida communities are under mandatory orders to boil their water, including the cities of Hollywood and Pembroke Pines - and all of the Florida Keys. "Then we go after the individual neighborhoods and look to ensure that we are getting those customers up", said Gould. Hurricane Irma now has maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.
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The Florida Health Care Association described the deaths as a "profound tragedy within the larger tragedy of Hurricane Irma". On Tuesday 6.8 million people remain without power in the steamy-late summer heat - about a third of Florida's population.
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Utility officials are warning residents that it could take weeks to get the lights back on in parts of the Southeast. "Initial assessments suggest that hardened FPL feeders, which are our main power lines, performed 30 percent better during Irma than non-hardened feeders".
Eric Silagy, chief executive of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company's history.
The state's gas supplies were severely disrupted before and during the storm as ports were closed, cutting Florida off from waterborne deliveries the state relies on. Jacksonville experienced its worst flooding since 1864.
In Miami-Dade County, where roads flooded and debris flew, and more than three-quarters of residents (830,000 out of 1.1 million) are without power as of Monday morning. If customers believe their power is out for this reason, there is no need to contact us. The Turkey Point plant, located southwest of Miami, took a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, a Category 5 storm, and sustained no damage, the company said.