FPL estimates having most South Florida customers' electricity restored by end of weekend

Utility crews from throughout country help to restore power to millions

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor , Liane Morejon - Reporter

HIALEAH, Fla. - Florida Power & Light estimates it will have electricity restored to all customers in South Florida by the end of the weekend.

The state's largest utility company gave its updated estimates Tuesday on Twitter.

FPL said it estimates that east coast customers will have power by the end of the weekend, except in areas hit by tornadoes, flooding and severe damage.

Power is expected to be restored to most of the state's west coast customers by the end of the day Sept. 22, excluding the aforementioned exceptions.

FPL said a workforce of nearly 19,500 has been working around the clock to restore electricity to all customers.

Workers from utility companies throughout the country have traveled to Florida to help restore power.

Crews from Overhead Lines in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, used the Hilton Miami Airport as their makeshift headquarters, rolling out about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

About 6.56 million customers throughout the state lost power, with more than a million of them in Miami-Dade County.

"Coming down here from Michigan it was a little different because we didn't know what we were getting into," foreman Kevin Downey said.

Downey and his crew arrived Friday ahead of Irma.

"I myself have worked for Florida Power & Light before in the past, so I kind of knew, but a lot of guys didn't," Downey said.

Crews from the Robert Henry Corporation in South Bend, Indiana, were working to restore downed power lines in Hialeah. Foreman Derrik Grifka said the work ahead of them is unprecedented.

"We've never had one this bad besides Katrina, this big, widespread like this, doing the damage it did up through here," Grifka said.

Anxious residents waiting days to get their air conditioning back watched from the porches of their steamy homes.

"I know it's a team effort," Isella Rodriguez said.

Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.