About 6.1 million without power in US Southeast after Irma: utilities

Hurricane Irma Forces Largest Miami Evacuation

Most outages were still in FPL's service area in the southern and eastern parts of Florida. It affected all 35 counties in the utility's territory which is most of the state's Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa.

FPL said on Wednesday it had provided power to some parts of a nursing home where people died after the facility lost electricity during Irma and that the home was not on a list "critical facilities" prioritized for emergency power restoration. That was down from a peak over 1.4 million on Monday night.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Matthew did not come on shore and damage infrastructure, and it took the utility about two days to restore power. FPL said on Tuesday it planned to restore power to eastern Florida by this weekend and to western Florida by September 22. As ports began to reopen, queues of tanker trucks waited to be refilled.

To recover restoration costs, FPL files with state regulators and, if approved, adds a storm surcharge on the monthly bills of its almost 5 million customers.

Most of those costs were related to Matthew, which caused a third as many outages as Irma did for FPL. The company said, however, it could request an increase if storm restoration costs exceed $800 million in any calendar year.

While most Californians were still sleeping, more than 100 Pacific Gas & Electric utility workers began deploying to help restore power in Florida. FPL reduced power at one reactor at the St. Lucie nuclear plant due to salt buildup in a switchyard from Irma. A unit of NextEra Energy Inc and the state's biggest power company, FPL said its outages dipped to around 2.8 million by Tuesday morning from a peak of over 3.6 million Monday morning.

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