Cleanup will continue for several days following the tropical storm force winds and several tornadoes spawned by Hurricane Irma in central Palm Beach County, Fla. on Sunday. Linemen from Springfield, Ill., and Lake Worth Utilities work to mend power lines on 12th Avenue South in Lake Worth, Fla., on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
Power should be back online by the end of the weekend for people on Florida’s east coast, Florida Power & Light said Tuesday.
For west coast Floridians slammed by Hurricane Irma, though, it could be a long hot, end-of-summer: Power isn’t expected to be fully restored until Sept. 22.
And on both coasts, there is a caveat to those estimates. Tornado damage, severe flooding and damage to homes could all cause further delays.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 353,850 FPL customers in Palm Beach County that Irma left without power were still unplugged. Another 326,940 had gotten power back.
Statewide, 2.5 million FPL customers remained without power.
“At the end of the day, we will get the lights back on,” said FPL Chief Communications Officer Rob Gould, who asked frustrated customers to “please be patient with us.”
“We know it is going to be very uncomfortable.”
It’s not just FPL customers. On Sunday night, a crucial connection to FPL’s grid went down, and all 27,000 customers of Lake Worth Utilities’ electrical system went dark. Only a fraction of customers, 3,500, had power restored by 2 p.m. Tuesday; prompting some frustrated residents to call for an overthrow of city hall.
But the number of people getting power back is growing by the hour.