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'There will be challenges,' FPL president says of Hurricane Ian

28,000 FPL linemen prepared to respond to power outages throughout Florida
Florida Power & Light officials give an update on Hurricane Ian on Sept. 27, 2022.jpg
Posted at 12:55 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-27 14:45:48-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida Power & Light's top official admitted Tuesday there will be extended power outages from Hurricane Ian over the coming days.

"There will be challenges in the days ahead, to say the least," Eric Silagy, the president and CEO of FPL, said at a news conference in West Palm Beach.

WATCH: FPL discusses storm preparations for Hurricane Ian

FPL gives update on Hurricane Ian preparations

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that 28,000 FPL linemen are prepared to respond to power outages from the storm.

Nearly 16,000 of those lineman have been pre-deployed throughout the state to react to emergencies faster.

"At FPL, we're ready. We train, we drill for this, we prepare for this all year long," Silagy said. "We are ready to respond."

Silagy said Ian will bring significant rainfall and flooding to Florida, and one of the biggest challenges will be how slowly the storm is expected to move once it reaches the Sunshine State.

For that reason, Silagy is warning residents to prepare for extended outages

"The storm gets on shore, it's expected to slow down, which means we will not be able to deploy crews in the field for many hours," Silagy said. "Up to 20 hours potentially, depending on the track and the strength."

Silagy added it could take up to 24 hours after the storm has passed for FPL crews to determine how bad each power outage is, and whether various grids and equipment need to be rebuilt.

Since 2005, FPL has invested billions of dollars in storm hardening technology, which Silagy said shaved days off power restoration times after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017.

"We have since been investing in the last five years, which is when Irma hit, to continue to put in more lines underground, as well as more storm hardening above ground," Silagy said.

If you lose power during Hurricane Ian, Silagy advises residents to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as long as possible to prevent your food from going bad.

If you have a portable generator, never use it inside or in your garage. Instead, run it outside in a well-ventilated area.

"Really do prepare for several days of being without power," Silagy said. "It's always a challenge when you lose power."

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