Economy

FPL: We will not shut down power to customers

FPL: We will not shut down power to customers”

The Category 5 storm is projected to hit Florida this weekend and many are anxious about nuclear power plants that lie in its path.

FPL said it now has 16,000 crews from around the country - from California, Massachusetts Texas, Colorado and Wisconsin, including its own to restore power once hurricane and tropical winds subside.

"This will no doubt be one of the most complex restorations that the company has ever seen", he said.

More than 20,000 utilities workers from 30 states and Canada stationed at almost 30 staging sites across the state are assessing damage and restoring power.

"We now have an army, frankly, of 13,500 restoration workers, both FPL crews and outside crews ready to respond as soon as it's safe to do so. We will not just be sitting back".

Utility officials are predicting up to 9 million Floridians could be without power after Irma strikes, and are weighing drastic measures before the storm - including shuttering both of the state's working nuclear plants. "This storm will envelope us whether it is off shore or on shore. So it's not true", she said.

Hurricane Irma threatens to knock out power to more than 4.1 million homes and businesses served by Florida Power & Light (FPL), affecting around nine million people based on the current storm track, the utility's chief executive said on Friday.

He's confident in Turkey Point's structural integrity.

Florida Power & Light announced Thursday it will shut down the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants ahead of Irma's expected arrival this weekend.

One of the facilities, the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in Homestead, weathered "a direct hit" from Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago, Silagy said.

"What we're seeing is encouraging, particularly on the west coast where our main transmission structures have not come down", Gould said.

Warships and planes were dispatched with food, water and troops after the fearsome Category 5 storm smashed homes, schools and roads, laying waste to some of the world's most attractive and exclusive tourist destinations.

FPL, which runs the two nuclear plants, was closely watching the forecast and if hurricane force winds were predicted to hit either plant, "we will shut down those plants 24 hours before the onset", Silagy said.

A series of explosions and meltdowns occurred at the Fukushima nuclear plant after a massive quake unleashed a powerful tsunami that shut the facility's cooling systems and led to meltdowns.

Turkey Point's reactors are protected by six feet of steel-reinforced concrete and sit 20 feet about sea level. "We're not taking any chances". The other nuclear plant, St. Lucie, is on a barrier island on the east coast about 120 miles (193 km) north of Miami.

FPL says it has invested $3 billion to protect its electricity grid since 2005, when the last major hurricane damaged power facilities in Florida.



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