Governor Rick Scott today announced that electric utility providers in Northwest Florida, which still have customers experiencing power outages, have set a goal and will have nearly all power restored to customers who are able to receive it by early November. This includes those in the hardest hit areas of Mexico Beach and towns in Calhoun and Jackson counties where the electrical infrastructure required a complete rebuild.
By setting and working toward this goal, electric utility providers are ensuring the massive power restoration effort following Hurricane Michael, a destructive Category 4 storm, would complete one of the most challenging restoration efforts ever. Currently, less than 47,700 accounts remain without power, down from the more than 400,000 immediately following Hurricane Michael. This includes many customers whose homes and businesses are either severely damaged or destroyed and unable to accept power. Since the restoration efforts began on October 11th, 88 percent of all outages have been restored. There are currently nearly 20,000 electric utility power restoration professionals working to restore power. For safety reasons, power will not be restored to certain customers whose homes or businesses have been severely damaged or destroyed until it is deemed safe to do so.
Governor Scott said, “Before Hurricane Michael, I visited communities throughout the Panhandle, Big Bend and Gulf Coast from Pasco County to Pensacola to warn as many people as possible to take this storm seriously. Immediately after the storm made landfall, the State of Florida, along with our federal and local governments, utility providers, partners from other states and the business community began a massive and nonstop response effort to save lives, solve problems and position our impacted communities for a successful and quick recovery.
“I’m proud of the power restoration that’s been made and am thankful for the progress made possible by every person who spent time away from their family to work on Florida’s recovery. Proudly and publicly setting a goal is the best way to get results and utility companies setting this restoration goal will provide more people the certainty we all need so they can rebuild and recover. Florida is strong and while we have made incredible progress in the past 13 days, there is much to do. We will never stop working until everyone is back on their feet following Michael.”
Actions that Governor Scott has taken to support power restoration include:
- Before Hurricane Michael made landfall, Governor Scott called on every local government to immediately confirm their mutual aid agreements between investor-owned utilities, municipals and co-ops are in place and effective so there is no delay in power restoration for Floridians. These agreements allow municipal utilities to receive aid from investor-owned utilities and co-ops as they work to restore power to customers. Without these agreements in place ahead of time, power restoration will be delayed. To view the full list of Florida utilities with agreements in place, click HERE.
- Governor Scott directed Florida SERT to make first responder fueling depots available to utility crews across the Panhandle. This helps ensure that utility restoration trucks have the fuel they need so they can restore power faster.
- Governor Scott offered each utility in Florida additional federal push crews to augment the ability of power restoration workers. Five utilities have drawn down push crews. These crews go in advance of utility crews and clear their paths so the utilities can focus solely on getting power restored. There are currently 25 push crews working in impacted areas.
- Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation to organize, lead and mobilize push crews to expedite power restoration.
- Governor Scott also requested assistance from Manny Miranda, Florida Power and Light’s Senior Vice President of Power Delivery, to advise and assist the state’s power restoration efforts.
- More than 15,000 utility poles have been replaced to date as part of the restoration effort.