Hurricane Irma: FPL could expect over 4 million customers without power

The hurricane is now barreling towards Florida and is followed by a Category 2 Hurricane named Hurricane Jose

More than 6.5 million Florida homes and businesses are now without power after Hurricane Irma moved through the state, according to the state's emergency management division.

Gulf Power's storm center serves as an emergency operations center during hurricanes and is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 miles per hour.

"We will safely shut down these nuclear plants well in advance of hurricane-force winds, and we've finalized plans for that shutdown", FPL spokesman Rob Gould told a news conference. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma.

Hydro One has reciprocal agreements in place with North American utilities to provide assistance during significant power outages, the utility said, and all costs are covered by the utility receiving the help.

The NRC inspectors are verifying that all of the preparations have been completed, and the plants' emergency diesel generators are available to be used if the storm affects off-site power supplies, the agency said in a statement.

Almost 4.5 million homes and businesses lost power when the storm made landfall in the U.S. September 10 after barreling through the Caribbean.

"After we take care of everyone right here at home, we are prepared to send more than 100 personnel to assist with power grid rebuilding and restoration in the southeast", said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. However, FPL, said on Tuesday that would restore power to eastern Florida by this weekend, and to western Florida by Sept 22.

But after the storm has ended, FPL asks customers to report their outages, just in case there's some damage that is affecting the location.

"This storm has the potential to eclipse Hurricane Andrew", Gould said.

Journeyman lineman AJ Parker, 28, said he left his 6-day-old daughter, Elsabeth Claire, and her mother in Tennessee last month to help fix high-power transmission lines in Texas towns devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Florida outages for Duke, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, so far have peaked at around 863,000.

As of 11 a.m. Monday morning, 359 customers were without power in Gulf Power's service area - mostly in the Bay County area. The nuclear plants are located along Florida's Atlantic Coast, about 20 feet above sea level.



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