FPL prepares for aftermath of Hurricane Irma

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida Power and Light announced they have 11,000 crews on standby and more on the way ahead of Hurricane Irma.

They have spent billions of dollars over the last few years getting ready for a hurricane like Irma. However, they still don’t know exactly how their system will fare.

“Now the great unknown is again the intensity and path of the storm,” said FPL spokesperson David McDermitt, “and the damage it can do to the rest of the system, the poles, wires, substations, and equipment like this.”

FPL officials said they have learned from past experiences and how to prepare for a threat like Irma.

Back in 2005, Hurricane Wilma knocked out power to a record 3.2 million FPL customers. Since then FPL has installed concrete power poles that can withstand category 5 winds of up to 145 miles per hour.

Substations have also been upgraded with new sensors and raised equipment in case of flooding. “This is important because it provides us with real time information, sends it to our centers and when we see water levels rising, we can shutdown the station, preventing damage,” said McDermitt.

FPL said that ahead of Hurricane Irma, nuclear plants like Turkey Point in Miami-Dade, will be shut down. Officials are hoping other plants on the grid will not be damaged and will be able to provide enough power for everyone.

According to officials, they are more ready than ever, but it’s unclear exactly what Irma will bring.

“If a major storm hits, like a category 4 or 5, frankly we are urging our customers to prepare for extended outages,” said McDermitt, “We anticipate that we may have to not only repair but completely rebuild parts of our system.”

To report any FPL power outages in your area during or after the storm, call 1-800-468-8243.

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