More Michigan utility crews joining Irma restoration effort

More Michigan utility crews joining Irma restoration effort

The number of customers without power was down from a peak of about 6.5 million Monday - but each account usually represents more than one person. That's led some utility companies to focus more energy on social media and online outreach.

Tampa Electric is reporting roughly 335,000 customers are without power as of early Monday afternoon.

Duke estimates all power will be restored by 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. Pinellas County was affected the most, with 395,000 outages.

A number of community partners - including fire stations, shopping centers and other facilities - have generously offered their parking lots and buildings to Duke Energy to serve as "base camps" to stage fix trucks and other equipment.

"Since it costs more to bury the lines, you certainly don't want to spend more and get worse service", Kury said.

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Authorities said people could be without electricity for a week or more during what they described as the largest restoration process in history, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Please do not call 911 unless it's an emergency. When it comes to residences, utility companies make repairs in areas that will have the greatest impact first.

Some Florida utilities, including FPL, warned customers it could take weeks to restore power in the hardest hit areas because infrastructure systems in some of those places will need to be rebuilt.

Before crews could begin repairs in Florida, damage assessments and, in some cases, cleanup had to be performed. An additional 3,000 technicians from out of Florida, some as far as Nebraska, Wisconsin and New England, were on the ground already or on the way to help. That's roughly 400,000 Duke Energy customers. Those numbers will continue to go up, Hyland said. "We know that's a key to getting life back to normal".

"We made major progress yesterday and overnight, and we have another great day of progress ahead us", said TECO spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs, who noted that 80 percent of TECO customers in Hillsborough County now have power.