Over 6 million lose power from Irma in US Southeast - utilities

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meets with Rohingya Muslims at Kutupalong refugee camp yesterday

In total more than 4.5 million FPL customers were affected by the storm, with over 1.6 million having their service restored already, mostly by automated devices.

In Georgia, utilities reported over 1.2 million customers without power Tuesday morning.

FPL, like other utilities, follows a plan to restore power to the largest number of customers as quickly as possible. By comparison, only 4 percent of 3.2 million customer outages following Hurricane Wilma in 2005 were addressed in the same time. He said 19,500 electric workers have been deployed in the restoration effort.

FPL said it expects to restore essentially all of its customers in the eastern portion of Florida by the weekend and the harder-hit western portion of the state by September 22.

They have now been moved to Miami at the request of Florida Power and Light.

The state's gas supplies were severely disrupted before and during the storm as ports were closed, cutting Florida off from waterborne deliveries the state relies on.

FPL has warned customers to prepare for outages that could last weeks if Irma requires the utility to rebuild parts of its service territory.

To recover restoration costs, FPL files with state regulators and, if approved, adds a storm surcharge on the monthly bills of its almost 5 million customers.

FPL, a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy Inc, had said on Friday it planned to shut both units at Turkey Point sometime on Saturday about 24 hours before hurricane force winds reached the plant.

The utility says more than 120 employees are departing Tuesday for Georgia, and more than 260 employees and contract workers will go to Florida to assist in recovery. FPL reduced power at one reactor at the St. Lucie nuclear plant due to salt buildup in a switchyard from Irma.

Related news: