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utility crews responding
to Hurricane Matthew
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!SOUTHEAST U.S. UTILITIES RESPOND VIGOROUSLY TO HURRICANE MATTHEW DAMAGE Numerous utilities in the U.S. Atlantic
seaboard worked feverishly to fix their
part of the grid after Hurricane Matthew
roared through in early October. Some
reported achieving reconnection at an
unprecedented pace considering the
damage done by the storm that killed
more than 20 people in the U.S. and
nearly a thousand elsewhere.
Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL)
restored service to all customers affected
by Matthew. FPL restored more than
1 million customer interruptions less
than 48 hours after the storm exited its
service territory in the second weekend
“We understand the frustration that
comes from being without power and
sincerely thank our customers for their
patience and understanding,” said
Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.
“Unfortunately, significant damage and
massive tree devastation required us to
not just restore service, but rebuild elec-
tric infrastructure from the ground up.
That said, the kind words from many of
our customers in the field and on social
media were a source of strength and
encouragement for our crews as they
worked around the clock.”
FPL’s workforce numbered 15,000,
including its own employees along with
workers from contracting companies and
partner utilities across the country.
“We are grateful to our partner util-
ities and contractors who answered
the call and helped us restore ser-
vice,” Silagy said. “We also want to
thank Gov. Rick Scott, as well as state
and local officials, for their leadership
during what will arguably go down
as one of the of the worst storms to
impact Florida in recent memory.”
reported. About 5,000 personnel from
Georgia Power, as well as assisting utilities
from other states, were mobilized as part
of the company’s restoration efforts for
Hurricane Matthew and restored power
for many customers earlier than expected.
Georgia Power estimates that damage
from Hurricane Matthew included:
• About 1,000 power poles broken or
• nearly 120 miles of wire ( 3,000 spans)
needing to be replaced, and
• more than 3,500 fallen trees causing
damage to electrical equipment.
Duke Energy crews, meanwhile, shaved
the number of customer outages from
roughly 1. 4 million to fewer than 60,000
in only a few days—a company record
pace for restorations in similar storms.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based
utility dealt with complications from
extreme flooding in the Carolinas. Those
areas included: Clinton, Goldsboro,
Kinston and Lumberton in North
Carolina; and Florence, Hartsville and
Marion in South Carolina.
At its peak, 680,000 Duke Energy
customers were without power Sunday
morning, Oct. 9.
Dominion Virginia Power crews also
made steady progress in the initial wake
of Matthew, restoring power to more
than 70 percent of 462,000 impacted
customers within two days of work.
Most of those impacted lived in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North
Carolina, where historic rainfall, high
winds and saturated ground combined
to cause extensive damage to roads,
bridges and electrical infrastructure.
Damage included broken poles, cross
arms and downed wire in many locations. Extremely hazardous flooding
conditions and high winds over the
weekend made it too dangerous to use
bucket trucks and hampered workers’
ability to initially make repairs at hard-hit locations.
More than 430 critical services were
affected by the storm, Dominion reported. The utility had more than 2,800
people working to restore power during
the height of the effort.