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How Fla. Utilities Teamed Up for Irma Restoration

September 25, 2017

After Hurricane Irma hit the State of Florida earlier this month, utilities worked together to restore operations across the state.

Florida Power & Light (FPL), one of the hardest hit utilities, completed resoration to more than 4.4 million customers by September 22, the fastest restoration of the largest number of people by any one utility in U.S. history, according to the company. The utility had staging sites across its service area, including one at the Miami Zoo. 

In a statement, FPL noted that it worked with triple the amount of its regular workforce, reaching up to 28,000 workers from 30 U.S. states and Canada, the largest restoration workforce assembled in U.S. history.

The Herald Tribune reported that at least 84 million gallons of sewage and treated or partially treated wastewater overflowed at utility plants across the state, with more than 500 wastewater releases reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a result of power outages.

In order to meet demand, utilities communicated regularly through Florida’s Eater/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN), which establishes formal mutual aid agreements during emergencies. Utilities shared generators and pump trucks through these agreements.

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