Irma power outages down to 6.9 million in US Southeast: utilities

Noon update on power outages local forecast

Tampa Bay residents without power dropped from about 1.15 million on Monday to a little over 920,000 as of Tuesday morning.

FPL, like other utilities, follows a plan to restore power to the largest number of customers as quickly as possible. "That restoration process will be measured in weeks, not days", said FPL spokesman Rob Gould at a news conference. By comparison, only 4 percent of 3.2 million customer outages following Hurricane Wilma in 2005 were addressed in the same time.

Those crews are expected to set up a base camp and tent city as part of a long-time effort to restore power.

"An army of more than 50,000 workers from across the United States and Canada is now dedicated to supporting the industry's Irma restoration efforts", Kuhn said.

As people across the Tampa Bay area and Florida get their lights turned back on, millions on Tuesday are still waking up in the dark.

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.

Most of those costs were related to Matthew, which caused a third as many outages as Irma did for FPL.

Almost 7.2 million homes and businesses are without power in multiple states as Tropical Storm Irma moves through the Southeast. The company said, however, it could request an increase if storm restoration costs exceed $800 million in any calendar year.

The utility says more than 120 employees are departing Tuesday for Georgia, and more than 260 employees and contract workers will go to Florida to assist in recovery.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Friday it has dispatched additional inspectors to the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants in Florida in preparation for the effects of Hurricane Irma on those sites.

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