FPL expects as many as 2.5 million could lose power from Matthew

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today urged customers to finalize their safety preparations and prepare for extended poweroutages, as Hurricane Matthew is forecast to make landfall near the Cape Canaveral area as a devastating and deadly Category 4 storm.

“Our hardworking men and women at FPL, along with workers from contracting companies and our partner utilities from across the country, are ready to respond to Hurricane Matthew as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Our restoration workforce now totals more than 15,000 strong with approximately 12,000 of these workers in the field to restore our customers’ power. As long as it’s safe, our crews will be out in force restoring power as the first bands of severe weather hit, and we’ll work continuously after the storm clears until all customers have power again.”

A significant portion of Florida’s east coast will be impacted by this powerful storm, and based upon the current forecast path, intensity and FPL’s historical modeling, the company now anticipates as many as 2.5 million customers will experience power outages and damage.

As a result of lessons learned from 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, FPL has installed real-time flood monitors at 223 substations that are most susceptible to storm surge, including substations in Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Lee counties. Substations play a critical role in providing service to customers by reducing high-voltage electricity from transmission lines to a level that can be distributed throughout FPL’s service area.

While the monitors clearly cannot prevent flooding, they do provide FPL more advanced warning if a flood threat emerges and allow us to proactively shut down a substation earlier. This potentially mitigates damage to our system and allows us to bring the substation online faster following a storm.