Economy

A history lesson: Ranking the deadliest, most powerful, expensive hurricanes

The size and trajectory of the storm has prompted officials to order evacuations along both coasts of Florida, including some of the state's population centers.

More than 200 Consumers Energy employees and contract personnel are headed from MI to Florida to assist local electric companies preparing for the hurricane.

Putnam, who is running for governor next year, said during an interview on Fox 13 in Tampa that protecting people is the priority, but, based on past storms, the powerful hurricane will negatively impact Florida growers. Even as Houston flooded, the power stayed on for most, allowing citizens to use TV and radio to stay apprised of danger, or social media to call for help.

"We are already responding to Hurricane Irma with the largest pre-storm restoration workforce ever assembled, not just in our company's history, but in USA history", Florida Power & Light President and CEO Eric Silagy said in a prepared statement.

"When Harvey made landfall in Texas it made it fully inland and weakened pretty quickly".

Irma has killed several people and devastated islands in the Caribbean.

"The current storm path projections come right up the heart of Florida's agricultural lands", Putnam said Friday.

FPL serves areas of South Florida and the Atlantic Coast that could get hit hard by the storm. Florida has Superfund sites on both the east and west coasts. Another 3.5 million residential and commercial properties were also at risk in the initial storm surge, when water is pushed toward the shore by the force of the storm. Some of those outages lasted for weeks.

Duke Energy Florida is also anticipating "significant, widespread power outages" for its 1.8 million customers in Florida.

FPL said it had invested almost $3 billion since 2006 to strengthen its grid, including placing 60 main power lines underground and installing almost five million smart meters and other devices. He would not comment on when the plants would be taken down or how long they could be shut. A robocall will go out to parents to let them know, he said.



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