Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

IRMA: 5 dead from nursing home that lost power near Miami

IRMA: 5 dead from nursing home that lost power near Miami

Florida Power & Light, the state's largest electric utility, said there were almost 1 million customers without power in Miami-Dade County alone.

Major utilities in Florida - including NextEra Energy Inc's Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Corp and Emera Inc's Tampa Electric - have mobilized tens of thousands of workers to deal with the outages after Irma landed early Sunday and carved a destructive path up Florida, which has a population of about 20 million.

Recovery efforts are underway in Southwest Florida after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, but it could be a while before life returns to normal.

One of the many rumors circulating as Hurricane Irma draws closer to South Florida is that residents will lose power once FPL shuts down the Turkey Point nuclear plant ahead of the storm.

At this point in time, "it is not expected that the St. Lucie nuclear power plant will be shut down as result of Irma, though we will closely monitor the changing weather conditions", the utility said.

In South Carolina, 150,000 customers are without power, according to Duke Energy and SCE&G.

FPL has a power plant station in St. Augustine. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma.

Gould said the nuclear sites are among the strongest in the United States and are created to withstand heavy wind and storm surge. That's 64 percent of the state's power customers, and there are several counties where 80-90 percent of customers are without power. At least seven storm-related deaths been reported in Florida, Georgia and SC, according to local officials.

Michael Rivers of North Lauderdale, Fla., said losing power took him from "anxious before and during the storm, to bored and angry after due to the loss of power.it's hot".

"A lot of times, we come on these storms and people get really hostile as far as not really understanding why we can't just flip a light switch and make everything come back on", Parker said. However, FPL, said on Tuesday that would restore power to eastern Florida by this weekend, and to western Florida by Sept 22. If the hurricane continues on its present track and strength, Florida's west coast could be more of a "rebuild" to restore power, he said.

The widespread outages stretch from the Florida Keys all the way into central Florida.

FPL said its two nuclear plants in Florida were safe.

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