Hurricane Ian power outages largely limited to four counties
Rick Scott visits LCEC linemen during Hurricane Ian restoration. Image via LCEC.

Rick Scott with LCEC workers
Problems remain in Lee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

Less than 2% of Floridians remain without power nine days after Hurricane Ian made landfall in the state. As of early morning on Oct. 6, only four counties still have greater than 5% of customers without electricity.

The vast majority of outages remain on grids for the Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) and with Florida Power & Light (FPL). FPL says it expects to have all customers powered up within 72 hours, but LCEC says it could still take greater than five days to get the power on for all customers.

The greatest problems remain in Lee County, where the storm made landfall on Sept. 27. A total of 136,052 customers still do not have service as of 6 a.m. on Oct. 6. The bulk of those are on LCEC, which still must bring back service for 117,492 customers, 65% of its Lee County users. The county also has 18,560 FPL subscribers without power.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican, toured the area and visited with LCEC linemen on Wednesday and said he’s confident efforts are being made to bring power back.

“Getting the power back on isn’t easy, but the line crews at LCEC are working around the clock to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian,” he said in a statement. “I stopped by to see their work first-hand and thank them for all they do.”

In Sarasota County, 24,330 still have no service, more than 8% of consumers there, with all but four of those on the FPL grid.

In Charlotte County, 42,919 remain without power, or nearly 34% of customers there. Most of those, 42,310, rely on FPL, while another 609 use LCEC.

In rural DeSoto County, 5,961 remain in the dark, almost 32% of users there. The bulk of them, 5,870 customers, are on FPL, with the remaining 91 on the Peace River Electric Cooperative.

Power is considered fully restored when more than 95% of customers have power, but a few counties still have a significant number of people still in the dark more than a week after the storm.

In Collier County, more than 97% have power but that still leaves 7,534 awaiting restoration. That includes 4,880 FPL customers and 2,654 on LCEC.

There are also 856 without power in Manatee County, less than 1% of the population. Most of those, 790, are on FPL, with the remaining 66 on the Peace River Electric Cooperative. Only small pockets of customers remain in the dark elsewhere.

Drilling further into outage reports, FPL says it still has restored no power on Sanibel or Pine Island, two areas inaccessible after Ian knocked out bridges to the barrier islands. Temporary bridge access opened to Pine Island ahead of schedule on Wednesday, Oct. 5, so that may start to change for 7,398 customers there. It’s unclear when power could come back for the 10,946 on Sanibel, where many structures have been completely destroyed.

There remain 74,199 Cape Coral customers without service, along with 32,569 in North Fort Myers. Another 2,168 on Marco Island have no power, along with 579 in Lehigh Acres, 334 in Carnestown and 169 in Immokalee. All other areas have been fully restored.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]



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