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UPDATE: LCEC, FPL report on power outages

September 21, 2017
Special to THE CITIZEN (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

UPDATE:

Hundreds of crews continue to work in the hardest hit areas to restore power to most customers by tomorrow night, Sept. 22. At the same time, crews focus on the time intensive jobs in areas that are 99 percent restored - where small pockets of customers or individuals remain without power.

Although there is no way to provide a specific timeline for restoration of those isolated outages, it is certain that LCEC will work around the clock until all power is restored.

Article Photos

FPL (9/20/17)

After Hurricane Irma passed through, there were 170,000 LCEC customers without power along with millions throughout the state. It takes time to restore power after a major event like the one that SWFL experienced. Utilities restore power in a methodical manner and the last phases are often the most difficult for customers to understand.

While estimates for restoring large numbers of customers early in the process are easier to provide, predictions for the small pockets and individual repairs are more difficult to provide. Each location is different. Sometimes a customer may not see the damage to a transformer, an insulator, or an issue between the line that serves their home and the pole.

We thank our customers for their support and their patience while we continue to restore power to all of our customers as quickly and safely as possible.

.....

ORIGINAL:

Lee County Electric Cooperative and Florida Power & Light Company have released the following updates regarding power outages following Hurricane Irma.

LCEC

Less than 7,000 of the remaining customers without power are located where the hurricane impacted the electric system the hardest - Immokalee, Lehigh Acres and surrounding areas, officials said today.

Most customers in the areas can expect restoration by the end of day on Sept. 22.

Restoration to pockets of customers and individuals still without power in areas such as North Fort Myers, Pine Island, St. James City, Bokeelia, Useppa, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Goodland and Everglades City is a long process.

Work to bring power back to those customers often requires major repairs, such as installing a new pole, transformer or other equipment related to the individual service. Access to electric facilities located in rear lots or remote areas makes the job more difficult - but not one crews cannot handle.

Each location is unique so there is no way to know how long each will take.

"LCEC understands it is frustrating for these customers to see power all around them and they can rest assured crews will continue to work in their location until all power has been restored," LCEC spokeswoman Karen Ryan said in a prepared statement.

The LCEC restoration plan, matching most utility response plans, entails five steps:

- Damage assessment - which continues throughout the plan

- Repair of main power lines and critical infrastructure

- Restoration in areas that require the least repair to get the largest number restored

- Return to repair smaller outages requiring more work - in hundreds of neighborhoods

- Follow-up to address specific important issues once restoration is completed

When you are the only one in your neighborhood without power:

- Check to be sure their breaker is on.

- If pipes or wires at the meter box are bent or broken, a licensed electrician must make repairs so that LCEC can restore power. Permits are not needed for emergency restoration but government inspections will be needed once power has been restored to ensure safety.

- If the meter is damaged, LCEC will replace it to restore power.

- Call 239-656-2300 and report an outage on the automated phone line, so localized damage can be tracked and addressed.

FPL

Florida Power & Light Company announced that more than 11,000 workers continue restoring service in the hardest-hit areas of Southwest Florida, officials reported.

As of Sept. 20, power restoration was essentially complete in all 35 counties served by FPL, with the exception of Glades, Lee and Collier counties, where restoration is more than 95 percent complete.

"We are working hard to restore more than 99 percent of customers who are able to accept power in Southwest Florida by tomorrow night, which is ahead of our original commitment of end of day Friday, Sept. 22," FPL officials said in a prepared statement.

Customers who live in a county where power is essentially restored, but do not currently have electricity, should report their outage at: FPL.com/outage.

"The damage from this powerful and slow-moving storm is staggering, and that fact continues to be reinforced as our crews collapse further into the hardest-hit areas along Florida's West Coast," Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer, said. "In Arcadia, for example, approximately 30 restoration personnel are working several days to repair 30 sections of line and install two dozen poles to restore service to a handful of customers. These men and women are facing extraordinary circumstances, including navigating tornado damage and extensive flooding that has left the area seemingly unrecognizable.

"We continue to thank our customers for their patience, especially those in Southwest Florida, who have suffered the longest without lights or air conditioning," he continued. "I want those customers, in particular, to know that thousands of restoration workers are working in their area more than triple the number of resources we had in the area just a few days ago. We remain firm in our commitment that we won't stop until every last customer has their electric service restored."

FPL has established walk-up sites for our customers in several communities. These sites provide charging stations, water, Wi-Fi, ice, community service and restoration information, and customer service assistance. Visit: FPL.com/powertracker to see locations and times.

 
 

 

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