Strong winds and flying debris from Hurricane Matthew caused outages to over 600,000 Florida Power & Light customers. But the company says customers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties should have power by the end of the day Friday, and Palm Beach County customers who don’t get power back Friday will have it Saturday.
FPL residents in the central and northern part of Florida are not that lucky. "We can expect to have more outages" as the area continues to see the effects of the hurricane, said Rob Gould, FPL's chief communication officer.
Gould says outages could have been more widespread and wait times, longer, if FPL hadn’t invested $2 billion in infrastructure improvements since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
"No system is hurricane-proof," he said. But, "had we not made the investments that we have in the past decade, these numbers would be much higher. And we would be talking about longer restoration times."
Those investments include strengthening poles and power lines, trimming 150,000 miles of trees and installing 36,000 smart switches. Those devices reroute power in less than a second if there’s an outage, keeping customers’ electricity on.