Over 5.5 mn utility customers without power in Florida

Over 5.5 mn utility customers without power in Florida 

Electricity companies repair the damages caused by Hurricane Irma in Miami Beach, Florida, USA, Sept. 11, 2017. EPA-EFE/Giorgio Viera

Miami, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- More than 5.5 million customers, or almost 53 percent of those served by power companies in Florida, were without electricity on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma battered the state, officials said.

In neighboring Georgia, which was affected by the storm on Monday, there were nearly 870,000 customers without power, or almost 50 percent of Georgia Power’s residential customers.

On Tuesday morning, 5,540,981 customers were without electric energy, compared to 6.2 million houses, businesses and public and private office buildings a day earlier, the Florida Disaster Management Division said.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous county, there were more than 661,950 customers, or 58 percent of the total, without power.

In Monroe Country, which includes the hard-hit Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, 83 percent of utility customers were without power.

In the northeastern county of Duval, where the city of Jacksonville experienced extensive flooding from the St. Johns River, at least 154,843 customers were left without electricity after Irma lashed the region.

Florida Power & Light (FPL), the largest utility serving Florida, reported on its Twitter account that more than 19,000 linesmen continue working to restore service, adding that nearly 1.1 million of the 4.4 million people affected by the massive outage were now back online.

FPL said power should be restored to all customers on Florida’s east coast by the end of the weekend.

Irma, now a post-tropical cyclone, is moving north over Alabama.

The storm, however, was a Category 5 hurricane before reaching the US coast.

At least 10 storm-related deaths have been reported in the US and numerous cities, including Miami, Miami Beach and Jacksonville, experienced flooding caused by storm surge.