About 1.3 million lose power in Florida from Irma, utility says

The St. Lucie nuclear power plant is being closed ahead of Hurricane Irma

"Everyone in Florida will be impacted in some way by this storm", FPL chief executive Eric Silagy said on Friday at a news conference.

A million homes and businesses in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were without power Sunday morning as Hurricane Irma began its assault on the lower Florida Keys.

Florida Power & Light Company said that about 430,000 customers were without power Sunday morning. "This is a very powerful storm and every bit of Florida is going to feel its wrath".

The utility covers much of the state, including most cities on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa.

FPL's nuclear plants are protected by thick concrete and reinforced steel and like many plants around the world were bolstered further after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Gould said. That is a decrease from the Category 5 designation Irma previously held.

The company and its power-providing peers in Florida have spent billions of dollars over the last several years upgrading their technology and infrastructure to better handle storms. But given Irma's size and strength, the companies were preparing for the worst. More than 76,000 people in the state are already without power, according to Gov. Rick Scott. He expects thousands of miles (kilometers) of poles and lines will need to be replaced, particularly on the Gulf coast. "We anticipate that restoration effort will be measured in weeks, not days". "Right now, more than 16,000 workers have descended on the state from 30 states, including Canada".

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