For people in Miami-Dad, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, the nightmare caused by Hurricane Irma has just begun. While threatening lives as it crept up the coast, the hurricane also knocked out the power to approximately 2 million homes and businesses in those Florida counties, reported Reuters.
According to Reuters, the state’s electric utilities say a full restoration of service will not take weeks.
Most of Florida has yet to experience the brunt of the storm, which blew through the Florida Keys early Sunday morning. At that point, it had maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. This made it a Category 3 storm. It has since weakened to a Category 2 storm, announced Reuters.
The brunt of the storm has impacted customers of the biggest power company in Florida. 1.9 million Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) customers in the southern and eastern sections of the state lost power. Around 200,000 of those people had their electricity restored by automated devices. The other 1.7 million weren't as lucky.
“We will have to rebuild part of our system, particularly in the western part of the state. That restoration process will be measured in weeks, not days,” warned the FPL spokesman Rob Gould.
Other utility providers also had scattered outages. These companies serve other areas of Florida.
"Duke energy warned its 1.8 million customers in northern and central Florida that outages could exceed 1 million. Emera’s Tampa Electric utility said the storm could affect up to 500,000 of the 730,000 homes and businesses it serves."
Unfortunately for those who have lost their power, the return might be slow. The outages could last weeks if the damage done by Irma requires the company to rebuild. Georgia is preparing for their own outages ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Please keep Florida in your prayers. Already at least three people are already dead in Florida after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Key's.