Health Care

Gov. Scott: "A Lot Of Work To Do" To Recover From Irma

Gov. Scott:

In South Carolina, about 55,000 customers were without power, according to Duke Energy and SCE&G. One of the hardest-hit areas was Southwest Florida, where Florida Power & Light is the primary utility company.

As Hurricane Irma battered Florida's coast before moving into Georgia, it also spawned tornadoes and caused widespread flooding. "But what's important for customers to know is that we know where the outages are within our system".

But as businesses and transportation hubs reopened in some parts of Florida, search and rescue missions were still being conducted in other areas, including the Florida Keys.

Many Texas residents are still without power weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and coastal areas of the state, which shows just how long it can take to get back up and running.

Federal officials are urging residents to remain patient.

The company on Tuesday said it expected to have the lights back on by the end of the weekend for the Atlantic coast. "I think the governor said it best leading up to this, evacuations are not about convenience, they're about safety".

The Mon Power workers packed for two weeks and will be working schedules of 16 hours on followed by eight hours of rest and then 16 hours on for the immediate future.

NextEra Energy Inc's FPL, which serves almost 5 million homes and businesses, said it expects to restore power to essentially all customers in the eastern portion of Florida by the end of the weekend and the harder-hit western part of the state by September 22.

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FPL recommended that customers instead use the phone number 1-800-4-OUTAGES (468-82437).

- Lakeland-based Publix reported 22 of its 776 stores in Florida remained closed on Tuesday.

As of 12 p.m. Friday, there are 53,000 Georgia Power customers without power.

"Our goal is a safe and efficient restoration", said Gordon Gillette, CEO and president of Tampa Electric, in a release on Tuesday.

Crews have deployed more than 36 times since 2008 to help other energy companies restore power to their customers. That's down from Monday night, when 62 percent of the state's 10.5 million households were without power.

FPL officials declined to disclose when they would power up three of its nuclear reactors - one at the St. Lucie plant on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce and both at Turkey Point plant, south of Miami - which were shut down before and after Irma struck.

Crews also worked to fix two washed-out, 300-foot sections of USA 1, the highway that runs through the Keys, and check the safety of the 42 bridges linking the islands.

If you see a crew passing but not stopping, it may be because work must be performed at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to your home. As of Monday evening, 54 hospitals were operating on backup generators, according to data reported to the Florida Department of Health.