FPL addresses power outage questions

Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 18:14:34-04

Florida Power and Light (FPL) said over five million power outages were recorded after hurricane Irma and people in Southwest Florida are still without electricity as of Tuesday.

CEO and President, Eric Silagy, said this storm affected all 35 counties FPL is in charge of.

"The problem here is that we had the entire state of Florida that was impacted. Now we don't serve everyone in Florida, but we serve half of Florida," Silagy said.

He says it's a lengthy process to get everyone's power restored because crews have to go house by house, to figure out the problem case by case.

Silagy said, "Is it the line? Is it the transformers? Is it the insulators or those areas that you see connect between the pole and the line? Or is it the pole itself? Sometimes a tree will come down and actually take the pole out."

He says he wishes he could give every neighborhood a specific timeline for when power will be turned back on, but says sometimes, he just doesn't know.

He also says part of the delay is making sure his crews are safe. Since their work began after Irma, they've had crew members hurt.

"I want to get every customer up as quickly as possible," Silagy said. "But I am not willing to have somebody go home in an ambulance or even worse to get the power back on."

An FPL customer, Christine Santana, says she was extremely relieved Tuesday, when a crew member told her she's have her power back on that same day.

"I wanted to just hug the guy and scream and run around the house," Santana said.

FPL says unless there are specific issues that need to be addressed before they get there, Friday September 22nd is still the target date to have all of Southwest Florida with power again.