Georgia customers without power Wednesday drops below half-million

FPL estimates 90 percent of Brevard residents will have power Sunday

As he toured Irma-battered areas of the Sunshine State on Thursday, the President told Florida Power and Light CEO Eric Silagy he's doing a "great job" - ignoring growing outrage over the heat-related deaths of eight residents of a Hollywood nursing home whose air conditioners failed during the storm.

Gould said that for the utility, which powers about half of the state, customers on Florida's east coast should have power back by the end of the weekend.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, an estimated 4.4 million Florida Power and Light customers statewide were left without electricity, challenging FPL and other power companies to try to restore power as quickly as possible in all corners of Florida.

Hurricane Irma's march across Florida and the Southeast triggered one of the bigger blackouts in USA history, plunging as many as 13 million people into the dark as the storm dragged down power lines and blew out transformers. Customers living in the hard-hit neighborhoods in southwest Florida, where damage was much more extensive, were expected to get power restored within 10 days.

"As we complete restoration on critical infrastructure facilities and primary power lines, we're moving more and more of our teams into neighborhoods to fix power lines and local transformers in order to bring light back to every community we serve".

"Before the crews can get to the lines to do the fix work to restore power, they have contractors come and remove the trees", West says.

"I know people don't want to hear that". Power was restored to 3.2 million customers.

"Doctors are telling me not to move her. Fire officials say we should evacuate". The cooperative has suspended all late and collection fees until restoration efforts are completed.

Outage Alerts - Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message. The center said it was informed that service would soon be fixed. "But what's important for customers to know is that we know where the outages are within our system". As neighbor after neighbor on her block tried to call Duke Energy for help, they heard that just 80 homes in their neighborhood lost power - out of more than 100,000 across Pinellas County. By Wednesday afternoon, state emergency management officials estimate that one third - or 6.4 million - residents remained without power in the Sunshine state.

Florida Public Counsel J.R. Kelly said that customer communications almost always fail in major storms.

Florida Power and Light said it has mobilized the largest workforce it has ever assembled to get power restored to its Florida: 21,500.

"That is a challenge we're facing", Kraft said. Long said the lack of electricity has affected fuel supplies because many gas stations haven't been retrofitted to run their pumps on generator power.

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