World Media

FPL: We will not shut down power to customers

A water tower stands over the ruins of the coastal community of Florida City

Estimated restoration times are based on the amount of damage to the area, but the company says they release restoration estimates for all customers 24-hours after the storm makes landfall.

Duke said it has about 7,000 line workers, tree professionals and damage-assessment crews set up for Irma, with additional assistance on the way from the Midwest. So we go large to small until we get right down to the end. "This storm has the potential to eclipse Hurricane Andrew". "Every plant in the country has hardened warehouses full of backup generator equipment and pumping equipment, and all of that equipment is design to be shared between plants", Gross said, indicating that, if Turkey Point needs a pump, St. Lucie would be able to provide it, or vice versa.

"I want to reassure our customers that we are prepared for Hurricane Irma".

Gould said FPL might have to turn off some substations ahead of any major flooding, a technique that could help the company restore power faster once any floodwaters recede, rather than keeping them on and allowing the storm to damage them. "We have evacuation routes opened for people to get out and get back to them".

"We are already responding to Hurricane Irma with the largest pre-storm restoration workforce ever assembled, not just in our company's history, but in USA history", Florida Power & Light President and CEO Eric Silagy said in a prepared statement.

Ever since Fukushima, nuclear plants in the path of massive storms have raised serious safety questions.

FPL is the third-largest electric utility in the USA and serves almost 10 million people in the southern half of Florida.

While FPL will be working around the clock, this is likely to be a multi-week restoration. Turkey Point survived Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm that in 1992 passed directly over the nuclear plant.

But neither Turkey Point nor the St. Lucie plant further up the coast had made the call yet to shutting down the plants.

Companies who supply nuclear power are confident that the existing facilities can withstand high-speed storms.

But just because the important parts of the plant weren't compromised doesn't mean there wasn't damage. The Homestead, Florida, plant also has a "backup to the backup" plan that involves extra generators and fuel.

The St. Lucie plant has already weathered powerful storms, like Hurricane Frances in 2004 and Wilma the year after.

'We will not take any chances and those plants will be secured, ' said Silagy.

FPL said earlier in the week it was finalizing plans for the shutdowns, if they became necessary.