FPL working to restore power to over 300,000 SWFL residents

Posted at 10:40 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 22:40:34-04

More than 300,000 Florida Power & Light (FPL) customers in Southwest Florida are still without power following Hurricane Irma. 

"The recovery without air conditioning is the hardest part," said Joe Wallen. He and his wife, Deb, have been without power for six days. While they've been able to handle the heat, their dog Doscher is having a rough time. 

"We're coping but our biggest thing is we have a 14-year-old dog and he's not coping very well, simply because it's so hot," said Wallen. 

They're one of nearly 100-thousand FPL customers in Collier County without power. 

"We've gone as long as 10 days before without power, but we were a lot younger; it was easier then," said Wallen jokingly.  

FPL says its response team is working on the ground, and from the air to get everyone's power back online. 

"Here is one of several, up to 30, or so drone operators that are helping ups to asses the damage and ultimately the damage we need to overcome to get the lights back on," said Jose Labrador, FPL. 

According to FPL, their Hurricane Irma relief efforts is the largest restoration project in FPL history. There are more than 22,000 employees and contractors working to restore power throughout the state. 

"This is a classic example of our crews are out of site, but they're working around the clock to get the lights back on and we're not going to stop until we do so," said Labrador.  

Their crews are working vigilantly under intense heat to get everyone's power restored, and for small business owners like Wallen it can't come soon enough. 

"I'm a small business owner and they don't have power and that's probably the main pressing thing for me because without electric there, there are still perishable products in those stores," said Wallen.