'All of Florida will feel [Irma's] wrath:' FPL says total restoration may take weeks

FPL gives update on Hurricane Irma. (FPL)

Florida Power and Light officials say the project to rebuild electric systems in Florida following Hurricane Irma may take several weeks to complete.

"This is a very powerful storm," said Rob Gold, Vice President Chief Communications Officer. "All of Florida will feel its wrath."

Right now, FPL says millions of outages have been reported as of Tuesday morning after Irma made landfall. Officials reported the largest numbers of outage in Miami-Dade County.

Gold says Florida residents may lose power more than once, but restoration efforts are underway in multiple locations. As of Sunday morning, officials say around 320,000 customers have already been helped.

However, FPL expects outages to 4.1 million customers or about 9 million people. Officials say this type of outage "will be unprecedented for us.”

Officials say FPL is more prepared to handle Hurricane Irma than storms in the past. The state's restoration teams are compiled not only of Florida employees, but also include people from other states. These teams will move around the state to continue restoring power.

Despite speedy efforts, Gold says "outages will continue to be prolonged" due to safety concerns. There are still several downed and active powerlines and trees blocking the roads.

While the type of technology and infrastructure developed by FPL is designed to withstand high winds and severe weather, there is still a risk of complete destruction.

Officials say concrete poles that line the coast are able to withstand up to 145 mph winds. Irma's winds have constantly flustered. Anything over 145 mph will break the concrete.

If this type of damage occurs, officials say they will need to “completely rebuild [the] electric system from the ground up.”

Crews already anticipate replacing thousands of miles worth of lines, including those underground, and various power grids.

FPL says crews will continue working as quickly as possible to restore power.

Other outages include:

  • Miami-Dade County: 660,338
  • Broward County: 483,376
  • Palm Beach County: 380,460
  • Brevard County: 195,116
  • Lee County: 210,603
  • Collier County: 178,498
  • Sarasota County: 133,911
  • St. Lucie County: 54,397
  • Martin County: 53,522
  • Indian River County: 34,523
  • Okeechobee County: 14,010
  • Hendry County: 8,814

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