Florida Power & Light shifts to storm mode

With 1.2 million households facing potential power loss, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has launched millions of robocalls and placed over 12,000 workers on standby to respond to Hurricane Matthew.

FPL said its investment in an advanced grid will be put to the test with the storm. The Florida utility has taken preventive action, positioning resources and equipment ahead of time and invoking assistance from other utility companies and contractors.

As Hurricane Matthew moves along the East Coast, infrastructure damage could be extensive, with flooding, falling debris and other factors influencing power interruptions.

"We understand the anxiety many of our customers are feeling at this moment and want to reassure them that we're ready to respond," FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said Tuesday. "We're deploying more resources pre-storm than ever before. During the past 24 hours, we have significantly increased our restoration team, including additional reinforcements from out of state.”

Silagy said FPL has gathered workers from as far away as Texas and Massachusetts. After storms, FPL crews will be busy cutting trees and vegetation away from power line areas for quick service restoration. Bucket trucks will operate between bouts of severe weather as long as winds remain under 35 mph and safe conditions prevail.

“Our total restoration workforce is now more than 12,000 strong with approximately 9,000 of these workers in the field,” Silagy said. “As long as it's safe, we'll be out there restoring power … and we'll work continuously after the storm clears until all customers have power again."

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