FPL Works To Restore Power In S. Fla.
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 16,000 thousand FPL customers still have no power in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
According to FPL, 1,910 customers are affected in Broward and 3,910 in Miami-Dade as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
That’s down significantly because nearly 230,000 customers lost power in the storm. Many of the power outages were caused by trees and vegetation hitting power lines.
FPL set up a staging area on the Tamiami Fairgrounds property in West Miami-Dade but crews, which included hundreds of workers from out of state, couldn’t go out and work on restoring power until wind speeds were less than 35-miles per hour, according to FPL officials.
Three days after the storm, there’s still plenty of work for them to do.
“You go everywhere, you go where the money’s at and where people need the help the most,” said electrical worker Tonto Burnell. “If it was me out of power, I’d want somebody there now too.”
Jorge Luis Muniz is frustrated that he and his elderly neighbors have gone without power for three days after the storm. He worries what will happen when a hurricane hits. He believes he would be without power for a month in that case.
“The power has been out since Sunday around 11pm,” said Hialeah Resident Ruben Borrero.
Borrero and his family have been without power for more than 48 hours. They’ve been getting by with a generator, using it only to power their fan and refrigerator.
“It’s really been a hassle without electricity,” said Borrero.
The Borreros aren’t the only ones.
“I think it was kind of ridiculous,” said Hialeah Resident Tiffany Garcia. “It was just a tropical storm, and it didn’t even hit us directly, and there’s no power,” said Garcia.
FPL spokesperson Erik Hofmeyer said the company is moving as quickly as it can to restore everyone’s power.
“Just in Miami-Dade, Broward County and Palm Beach County alone, we have been working on rain and wind, lightning and flooding nonstop to get the power back on,” stated Hofmeyer.
The state’s largest utility company said the company had a much more durable system in place than it did 7-years ago during the last major storm system.
“FPL invested a billion dollars in their electric infrastructure, which made it stronger and more storm resistant,” said FPL spokesperson Marie Bertot.
But customers without power after Isaac are wondering despite the upgrade, why did 230,000 South Floridians lose power?
“First, let me tell you that no electrical system in the country is storm proof. This storm had very strong sustained winds over a couple of days,” explained Hofmeyer. “We are ready to respond to hurricanes.”
FPL managers told CBS4’s Natalia Zea that the billion dollars in system improvements is working, especially around key locations like hospitals. They’re hoping to have everyone’s power restored Tuesday. However, they said, if you’re neighborhood is flooded, you may be out of luck for awhile. Because water and electricity don’t mix, they will not have their crews restore power in flood waters.
Any FPL customers without power should report the outage. Call 800-4-OUTAGE (800-468-8243).
FPL customers can also visit www.FPL.com/maps and enter their street address to see a detailed map of electrical improvements in their neighborhoods. This online tool shows the system improvements in your community.