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Power Restored to More Than 80 Percent of Customers Impacted by Hurricane Irma, Crews Continue to Work Around the Clock

WASHINGTON (September 15, 2017) – As of 5:30 p.m. EDT, about 1.4 million customers are without power in Florida and Georgia as a result of Hurricane Irma. At Irma’s peak on September 11, there were more than 7.8 million outages. 

“Just four days after this historic storm passed, more than 80 percent of customer outages have been restored,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “I want to assure customers who are still without power that an army of more than 60,000 is working around the clock in support of one mission—to turn the lights back on as safely and as quickly as possible.” 

Every electric company follows a detailed plan for restoring power after a storm like Irma. Once power plants and other critical infrastructure are restored, crews move into individual neighborhoods and begin restoration efforts on a street-by-street basis. 

“The energy grid is heavily interconnected, and customers may not see lineworkers or bucket trucks. That’s because the equipment that needs to be repaired—or what’s causing the outage—may be located in another area of the system,” said Kuhn. “Unfortunately, some customers may not be able to receive power to their homes after it’s restored because of damage. Many local codes require that a licensed electrician or a city/county inspector check the system before power can be restored. This will delay the restoration of service for some individual customers.”

Throughout Hurricane Irma, EEI and the electric power industry have worked through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) to coordinate with the federal government, other segments of the industry, and critical infrastructure operators. Earlier today, the ESCC leadership held a call with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, as well as senior executives from EEI's member companies and from across the industry, to discuss the restoration progress and the unprecedented coordination across the industry and government.

“I truly appreciate Secretary Perry’s tremendous leadership and support throughout Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Kuhn. “Secretary Perry has recognized the tireless efforts of the impacted companies and crews to respond to these catastrophic storms and is a champion of the partnership between the highest levels of the industry and government.”

EEI’s Storm Center is a resource for information and explanations of the restoration process. It also includes a map to company outage centers. Customers can follow EEI on Twitter and Facebook​ for the latest updates.

It is important to remember that outages measure customer meters impacted, not the number of individuals without power. As Irma unfolded, some customers experienced more than one outage. Customers in Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina also experienced Irma-related impacts; no significant outages remain in those states.

Media Contact
EEI Media Relations
Brian Reil