Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Research group predicts 2.6 million could lose power due to Irma

Research group predicts 2.6 million could lose power due to Irma

"We continue to pre-position an army of line and vegetation workers across the state where they can make the biggest impact as soon as it is safe to do so", FPL President and Chief Executive Officer Eric Silagy said in a prepared statement.

Thousands of crew members are expected in Lake City, ahead of anticipated power restoration efforts following Hurricane Irma.

There is still a chance that the storm may not hit Florida at all, and let us hope that is the case. Andrew remains the most destructive hurricane to hit the state.

"This is a deadly and devastating hurricane, and every part of Florida will feel the wrath of this storm", Silagy said. According to the State Emergency Operations Center, FPL will be begin powering down Turkey Point Nuclear Plant at midnight tonight. The hurricane is now passing the Dominican Republic. "And certainly after the storm, as soon as it is safe to do so, we're gonna get the lights back on".

Electricity generator Florida Power & Light said on Thursday it will shut its two nuclear power plants before Irma comes ashore as a very powerful hurricane.

"As Irma's track continues to evolve, we are adjusting our crews and moving them in position as we need to so they're best able to respond", he said.

FPL shared the information below on its website to let people know about restoration times in the event the power does go out in your neighborhood.

The electric utility can see whether a house or business is out of power even in the field via iPads, which utility restoration workers will be using in their work.

Turkey Point, located just south of Miami in Homestead, survived a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. An natural disaster in Virginia in 2011 shut Dominion Energy Inc's (D.N) North Anna plant for about 2-1/2 months, the time it took to complete a full damage inspection.

At the time, Turkey Point didn't sustain any structural damage to its most sensitive facilities, despite facing sustained winds up to 145 miles per hour and gusts as strong as 175mph.

"We will be shutting down the nuclear plants well in advance of any hurricane force winds approaching", a spokesman told reporters in a press conference.

FPL said both Turkey Point and St Lucie were created to withstand storms stronger than any ever recorded in the region and both plants are elevated 20 feet (6 meters) above sea level to protect against flooding and extreme storm surges. Nuclear reactors must be cooled after they are shut down, otherwise a meltdown can occur, which can lead to hydrogen-air explosions and the escape of radioactive material. The diesel generators live in bunkers near the reactors, and those bunkers also include considerable reserves of fuel.

The St. Lucie plant has already weathered powerful storms, like Hurricane Frances in 2004 and Wilma the year after. But the nuclear plants, he said, were secure.

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