Hurricane season is fast approaching, which means summer is nearly here, as well. For South Florida, this signals increased attention on storm forecasts and applying lessons learned when it comes to evacuation and emergency plans, storm shutters and the possibility of losing power during the most sweltering time of the year.
Last year, more than 700,000 homes had their power knocked out as Hurricane Irma arrived in South Florida. It hit the lower Keys as a Category 4 storm but slowed down to a Cat. 1 as it made its way up the Florida peninsula.
In some neighborhoods, outages lasted more than nine days. Out-of-state linemen were brought in to help restore electricity faster. In the days after the storm, some residents with overhead lines questioned why Florida Power and Light hadn't installed more underground lines, especially in a state that's no stranger to tropical storms.
Now WLRN wants to hear about your experience with power lines. Does your neighborhood have underground lines? Did Irma make you wish you did?
WLRN is working on a project that reviews the process it takes for power lines to go underground. We're looking at costs, the impact of sea-level rise on these lines, and whether underground lines would provide greater protection in the face of another storm like Irma. Your input will be incorporated into our work.