More than 388,000 homes and businesses lost power in the onslaught of Michael, with Bay County taking the brunt, according to the first power-outage release issued shortly before 6 p.m. by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
In Bay County, where Michael came ashore, more than 99,000 of the 108,000 homes and businesses were without power at 5:56 p.m., according to the division. That means 91 percent of the county was without power.
In Bay, most of the lost electricity is provided through Gulf Power, though Duke Energy and local electricity cooperatives account for some.
In three other counties, Liberty, Gilchrist Gadsden, Hamilton, Holmes, Liberty and Washington, more than half of the homes and businesses have gone dark, though most of those mostly-rural counties has more than 20,000 customers total. In Hamilton and Holmes close to 80 percent of the homes and businesses went dark.
In Washington County, 48,000 of the customers headed into the evening in the dark, about 53 percent of the homes and businesses.
Statewide, the 388,160 customers without power represents about 3.6 percent of the state’s homes and businesses.
And some of the hardest-hit counties are far from the hurricane’s path. In Indian River, on the Atlantic Coast, more than 55,000 customers were reported without power. That’s more than a quarter of the county.
In Leon County, seated by Tallahassee, just under 24,000 customers, about 22 percent, were without electricity at 5:56 p.m., acording to the division’s report.
To the far west, another 8,000 homes and businesses each iEscambia counties have lost power, but those represented 5 percent of the customers there.
Otherwise, the numbers of power outages drop sharply to the far east and west of the storm’s path.
Still, power outages being reported during Hurricane Michael’s attack are not limited to the Panhandle. There were small scatterings of outages reported as far away as Miami-Dade County, and some significant outages in spots far from Michael’s path.
Check back for updates.