Amy Zubaly, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), on Nov. 10 provided an update on power restoration efforts underway in the wake of the arrival of Hurricane Nicole.
She noted that early Thursday morning, November 10, Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near the public power town of Fort Pierce on the east coast of Florida. “Nicole continued across the peninsula of Florida as a strong and large Tropical Storm, with heavy rain and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 345 miles from the center of the storm.”
At peak, there were 354,909 outages statewide, with 53,513 of them from Florida’s public power communities, Zubaly told Public Power Current.
As of 5 pm Thursday, the storm continued to move north into the panhandle of Florida. Outages will continue off and on throughout the evening as bands from the storm continue to move across the state, but the majority of impacted public power communities have been able to restore outages as they occur, she added.
Approximately half of Florida 32 public power communities were impacted by Nicole. Instate crews, along with mutual aid crews from other public power utilities in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and Kentucky, have been working around the clock as long as conditions were safe to continue restoring power to customers, Zubaly noted.
“Florida public power utilities have been preparing year-round for storm season and have made significant investments in storm hardening and strengthening our grid and those investments have paid off. While outages may continue through the night Thursday and into Friday morning, we hope to have power restored to most all our customers by end of day Friday,” she said.