Power back for 766,000 FPL customers, others face ‘prolonged outages’ after Hurricane Ian
Image via FPL.

FPL lineworker
Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties had the most customers still without power.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) crews worked through the night to restore power for more than half a million customers across the state. By early Thursday evening, nearly 766,000 customers had their lights back on. About 1.24 million await help.

Close to 21,000 restoration workers, including some who traveled to Florida from 30 other states, are “working around the clock” to reconnect Floridians left without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Ian, FPL said.

Thirty-seven FPL staging, parking and processing sites are now in place as well to speed and streamline efforts. Specialized crews are also clearing downed trees, debris and other damage so lineworkers can access systems.

The storms struck the Sunshine State Wednesday afternoon near Fort Myers at near-Category 5 strength, bringing with it torrential rain, tornadoes and massive storm surges that flooded a large swath of the Gulf Shore.

FPL is now assessing the damage and what work is needed to bring its grid fully back online. The company expects some customers will experience “prolonged outages” as parts of its system will need more than just repairs.

“Hurricane Ian has forever altered the lives of so many of our fellow Floridians and we recognize the road to recovery will be long and challenging,” FPL Chair and CEO Eric Silagy said in a statement.

“We understand how difficult it is to be without power and our dedicated men and women will continue to work around the clock until every customer’s electricity is back on. That said, the catastrophic nature of this storm means that we may need to rebuild parts of our system in Southwest Florida, which will take time.”

Roughly 21% of FPL’s 5.27 million customers awaited reconnection as of 5 p.m. Thursday. Among the larger counties impacted by the storm, Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota contained the most customers still without power, according to FPL’s interactive Power Tracker.

FPL spokesperson Michael Lewis told Florida Politics that percentage is likely higher than the actual figure.

“If a customer has lost power more than once,” he said, “it does get added in there twice.”

In Lee County, where Ian made landfall just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, 81% of FPL’s 288,630 customers had unfixed outages. So did 67% of the company’s 287,120 customers in Sarasota.

Three-quarters of FPL’s 228,540 customers in Collier County and 88% of its 126,690 customers in Charlotte County reported the same.

Other counties with more than 10,000 powerless FPL customers included Brevard, De Soto, Flagler, Indian River, Manatee, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia.

Also uncertain is the number of dead due to the storm. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told “Good Morning America” that he “definitely (knew) fatalities are in the hundreds.”

“There are thousands of people that are waiting to be rescued,” he said. “I can’t give a true assessment until we’re actually on scene assessing each scene, and we can’t access. That’s the problem. We’re accessing the bridges, seeing what’s compromised and what’s not, and this will be a life-changing event for the men and women who are responding. They’re going to see things they’ve never seen before.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis later pushed back on Marceno’s assertion that hundreds likely died in the storm, calling the figure “basically an estimate of, ‘Hey, these people were calling.'”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


13 comments

  • FP legendary idiot

    September 29, 2022 at 10:35 am

    Tropical 3 sea storm

  • Tom

    September 29, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    Tropical 2 ocean windcane

  • Pete

    September 29, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    My power is out from the storm right now but FPL has always been pretty dam good as far as I’m concerned, my bill is cheap and power rarely goes out.

  • John Baas

    September 29, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Any truth to the rumor that power will resume in Lee County in the next couple days.

  • Linda

    September 29, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    In my neighborhood in palm bay no power but fpl tells us we have power I got thru only by choosing billing where I finally got a person so that someone at fpl knows we still don’t have power when their be system says we do..fpl is going backwards and they don’t make it easy to actually reach a human!

  • Joyce Bunting

    September 30, 2022 at 1:42 am

    Why would Sheriff Marceno claim 100s dead before search/rescue even started? What an irresponsible tool.

    With every major storm it takes longer & longer to get the power back on. Half the state being without power and therefore without fuctioning water stations for an indefinite “extended” time is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not like they had no idea our electrical grid needed serious reinforcement. We saw that with Irma 5 years ago. They put a lot of money into a questionable project in Northern FL that did nothing to address the stability of our grid. They claim to have spent millions on repairing/reinforcing infrastructure. They are one of the highest compensated power companies in the nation and basically have a monoply in large areas of FL yet for some reason they feel no urgency to ensure stable service or improve restoration results. They don’t even provide information or assistance to their customers. Time to break their hold on millions of FL and allow for competition in the market.

    • Stephanie

      October 1, 2022 at 9:49 pm

      Marceno said that hundreds are dead because they are dead, one thing about him is he is a straight shooter! Have you heard them release information that even 1 person died in Lee County? No you haven’t… I know someone who works in a Charlotte County hospital & she told me on Friday that they had over 200 bodies that were brought in to them from the Lee County- Pine Island/Cape areas that were flooded & that they were still trying to bring bodies to them but they were full & had to turn them away. Another friend took her Kayak to check on her Daughter in South Fort Myers not far from Fort Myers Beach & passed 3 bodies floating just in the 1 mile between her house & her daughters condo.

      • Maureen

        October 3, 2022 at 3:31 am

        Just like COVID-19, deaths will be suppressed ..
        Everything in fascist Florida is political,including Hurricane Ian.
        Can’t wait to get the hell outta here….

  • Anita Goelz

    September 30, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Still don’t have power in my area, Bayshore on the Lakes area…please help us in Manatee…

  • Brandon Hunter

    September 30, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    Do we know the preferred pronouns of Ian yet? It’s very confusing and I need to explain to my kids whether Ian prefers He/Him/His or She/Her/Hers. Thank you

  • Ihateflorida

    October 1, 2022 at 6:51 am

    Fuck this Fucken godforsaken state
    Good thing real estate won’t sell for years again now and nobody where I live has power water a job to go back to for possibly months and tons of bills to pay…
    I almost wish the storm killed me ..
    Homelessness and being bankrupted without a car or a home seems fine.
    I’m sure Florida will get nothing close to what the foreigners in the Ukraine got
    And why would we?
    We are evil conservatives

    • Maureen

      October 3, 2022 at 3:57 am

      I’m with you.

      President Joe Biden will do all in his power help restore Florida. Restoration will take years .

      My concern is for families left with
      nothing ,and those who have lost loved ones.. ..

      There will be billions of dollars poured into this state to helo,but will those in desperate need ever see the money or will it be horded for political gain,like millions before. ..Just my thoughts..

  • Susan king

    October 1, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    I’d like to go home. Used rent money to go to ft Lauderdale to a Marriott from Tuesday to Sunday. Still no power in Ft Myers. Hate going home to nothing. And boil water.

Comments are closed.


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