Factbox: Hurricane Ian leaves over 2.6 mln customers without power in Florida

Sept 29 (Reuters) – More than 2.6 million homes and businesses were without power in Florida on Thursday as Hurricane Ian marched across the state, according to local power companies.

Ian, which hit Florida on Wednesday, has affected about 3.3 million power customers so far. That means some utilities have restored service now that the storm has passed through their territory even though the number of current outages has increased as the storm moves north.

Rescue workers and residents of Florida’s Gulf Coast searched for missing people and picked up the pieces from wrecked homes after Ian tore through the area with howling winds, torrential rains and raging surf. read more

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In its latest advisory, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Ian, now a tropical storm, was in the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Florida.

The NHC expects the storm to strengthen back into a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (121 kilometers) per hour before it slams into the South Carolina coast on Friday.

The utility with the most outages so far was Florida Power & Light Co (FPL), a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy Inc (<NEE.N>).

FPL said it has already restored service to over 600,000 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 increased its restoration workforce from around 13,000 before the storm hit to more than 20,000 personnel, including mutual assistance from utilities and others in 30 states.

Major outages by utility:

Source: Company web sites, Poweroutage.us

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Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru and Scott DiSavino in New York
Editing by Marguerita Choy

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

source: reuters.com