Florida Power & Light reported Thursday that it has restored power to all of the more than 160,000 customers impacted by Hurricane Dorian, which is now barreling north along the Atlantic Coast to the Georgia and Carolina coasts.
Most outages were caused primarily by downed trees, vegetation and debris blowing into power lines. FPL is now working with other utilities to the north to help reallocate resources to help respond to Dorian as it impacts Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
FPL CEO Eric Silagy thanked customers for their collective patience, as well as utilities who came to the utility’s mutual aid. He also expressed gratitude to Gov. DeSantis, law enforcement, first responders and state and local officials who helped smooth the way toward faster restoration.
“Our investments over the past decade in smart grid technology, undergrounding power lines and strengthening the energy grid enabled us to restore power faster to customers and avoid thousands of outages,” Silagy said. “With smart grid technology, some restoration tasks that would previously have required a crew to travel to a site in the field and perform work on overhead equipment can now be resolved with the push of a button. We also deployed 58 drones to help crews get eyes on any damage to our electric system. This high-tech solution provides valuable insight into areas of dense vegetation and flooding, and helps us get the right crews and resources in the right places more quickly.”
Back in 2013, FPL announced it was investing about $500 million in a three-year system hardening plan informed by lessons learned during Superstorm Sandy in 2011. The utility subsidiary of NextEra Energy already had spent more than $450 million toward strengthening its electric-system backbone since 2007, five years after Hurricane Andrew.
At least seven major hurricanes have made landfall in Florida since 1998. Those include Irma, Charley, Ivan, Jeanne, Wilma, Dennis and Michael.