359,000 awakening without electricity after Hurricane Michael - Florida Politics

359,000 awakening without electricity after Hurricane Michael

The numbers of homes and businesses without power dipped only slightly overnight from a peak of 388,000 early Wednesday evening to 366,000 late Wednesday night to 359,000 early Thursday morning as the Florida Panhandle and other parts of the state awake from Hurricane Michael’s fury.

Bay County, where the storm came ashore mid-afternoon Thursday with 155 mph winds, remains the focal point of power outages, and at 6:04 a.m. Thursday 98 percent of the county, 114,925 customers, were without electricity, according to the latest report from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

In Leon County, seated by Tallahassee, power outages spread overnight, and by morning 94,000 customers were without electricity, 66 percent of the county.

Virtually all of Jackson County’s 26,000 homes and businesses, and virtually all of Calhoun County’s 4,000 power grid customers were without electricity first thing Wednesday morning. Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, and Wakula counties also saw power outages across more than 90 percent of their homes and businesses.

Holmes, Jefferson, Liberty, Walton and Washington counties also had more than a third of their homes and businesses without power.

Overall, 359,306 Florida homes and businesses are without power early Wednesday morning. That’s 3.4 percent of the state.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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