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FPL works to keep the lights on as hurricane season nears

Keeping the power on during a storm
Posted: 4:58 PM, Apr 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-26 05:10:25-04
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- If you experience frequent power outages where you live, that could soon change.

Florida Power and Light is in the process of burying lines that are currently above ground, and they say the switch is not only safer but more reliable during a storm.

“What we found out is after Hurricane Matthew almost 95 percent of our underground lines in neighborhoods like this performed better from a reliability standpoint than the overhead lines,” said FPL Distribution Operations Vice President Bryan Olnick.

Sixty-three homes off Parker Avenue in West Palm Beach recently agreed to let FPL dig up their front yards to install underground lines.

“Right now we are installing the lines between 36 to 48 inches deep,” said Olnick.

The installation crews use a method known as directional boring to ground the lines. Instead of trenching across the entire property, they use this least intrusive method and dig two holes, one on each side of the homeowner’s front yard.

“What you’ll see is this pipe coming out like this, and then we will cut it and we will eventually tie it into the whole section that we have coming here,” said lead project manager Michael Fetto.

The project, that takes about six weeks to complete in a neighborhood, is part of FPL’s three-year Storm Secure Underground pilot program. If all goes well, the goal is to have all homes in Florida make the switch, but FPL says that’s years away from happening.

FPL offers more information about the program on its website.