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Beyond a week in the dark: About 200,000 still without power

Posted at 5:40 AM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 14:43:51-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — As of Thursday morning's update from Lee County Electric Cooperative, more than 68,000 Cape Coral residents are still without power, accounting for the bulk of the company's 110,000 total outages.

FPL OUTAGES AS OF 5AM, Thursday Oct. 6
Sarasota - 24,330
DeSoto - 5,870
Charlotte - 42,500
Lee - 18,560
Hendry - 70
Collier - 292
Collier, Glades, and Sarasota residents may now report outages as normal.

LCEC OUTAGES AS OF 6AM Thursday, Oct. 6
Marco Island - 2,089 out (17,493 on)
Immokalee - 140 out (15,600 on)
Carnestown - 425 out (2,814 on)
Lehigh Acres - 254 out (32,872 on)
North Fort Myers - 30,376 out (25,903 on)
Cape Coral - 68,518 out (25,758 on)
Pine Island - 7,398 out (0 on)
Sanibel - 10,946 out (0 on)

This table will not be updated throughout the day; visit Fox 4's Facebook and Twitter pages for the newest numbers as we get them.

The speed and transparency of LCEC's recovery work have been in question by residents and state officials alike in the days since Hurricane Ian.

Florida Power & Light, LCEC's main competitor, has posted hourly updates of restoration in affected counties since work began on its interactive outage map. By comparison, LCEC posts one to two updates daily on its Storm Center page in text, reflecting numbers on its own outage map.

Earlier this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis took LCEC to task for reportedly being slow to take on additional assistance. Sunday, LCEC had only reconnected about 14% of its customers*, compared to FPL, which had already restored service to about half its affected customers.

LCEC says over 2,300 crews are now in service, and that they have expanded their partnership with FPL "to address supply chain disruptions, set up a base camp to house and feed line workers, and partner with specialized substation engineers."

But the slow connectivity rate between the two companies continues to be a matter of consternation for many customers.

FPL said Thursday it had successfully reconnected 95% of affected customers. LCEC's Thursday morning numbers equate to 54.19% reconnection*.

Still, FPL still has roughly 91,000 customers left to connect.

In a press conference Thursday the FPL CEO Eric Silagy, said they were working to restore power in Charlotte County. It's one of the regions that has seen major outages,

Silagy said that everyone that was able to receive power safely , would have power restored by Friday night."

Thursday morning FPL also said they had sent more than 300 linemen to Cape Coral to help restore power.

Cape Coral resident, Joshua Leiss, was one of the lucky ones that got power restored Thursday afternoon.

"So happy to have power it’s been seven days. Seven long days of sweating it out fighting for gas, ice ,it’s just so many emotions going through your mind."

*Calculation percentage does not include Pine Island or Sanibel, where restoration efforts are not currently possible.