Hurricane Ian leaves over 1.9 million customers without power in Florida
More than 1.9 million homes and businesses in Florida were still without power on Friday after Hurricane Ian barreled across the state on Wednesday and Thursday.
That is down from more than 3.5 million power customers affected by Ian since it hit Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as utilities restored service after the storm passed through their territories.
A resurgent Hurricane Ian was currently headed for a second landfall in South Carolina on Friday, where power outages were starting to grow as the storm approaches.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Ian, which strengthened from a tropical storm back into a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Florida, was accelerating toward the South Carolina coast and would produce “life-threatening storm surge and damaging winds.”
The system was located about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) and was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, the NHC said.
North Carolina energy company Duke Energy Corp said it was readying crews to respond to potential power outages across the Carolinas.
In Florida, the utility with the most outages was Florida Power & Light Co (FPL), a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy Inc.
FPL said it had already restored service to over 1 million customers affected by the storm, but “anticipates some customers will face prolonged outages because portions of the electric system in Southwest Florida will need to be rebuilt rather than repaired.”
FPL said it had increased its restoration workforce from around 13,000 before the storm hit to more than 21,000 personnel, including mutual assistance from utilities and others in 30 states.
Hurricane Ian pounds Florida, leaves millions in dark
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