FPL: Southwest Florida gets power back by Friday

About 216,000 homes and businesses in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties had no power two days after Hurricane Irma hit them

An uprooted tree in Sarasota (Source: Sarasota Patch)
An uprooted tree in Sarasota (Source: Sarasota Patch)

Florida Power & Light expects to restore power throughout Southwest Florida in six days after repairing damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

The utility expects to restore power by Sept. 22 in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Power outages may last even longer in some parts of the tri-county region with extensive wind and water damage.

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About 216,000 homes and businesses in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties were without power Tuesday evening, and power had been restored at nearly 249,000.

FPL has spent almost $3 billion to make its electric grid more resilient since 2005, the year Hurricane Wilma hit Florida. Just 4 percent of FPL customers had power within a day after Wilma made landfall, compared to 40 percent after Irma’s arrival.

The duration of the power-restoration process “will be far less than it would have been if we had not invested in the system,” FPL spokesman Rob Gould told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune] Mike Seemuth