Fabienne Fleurantin/ Staff Writer
My friends are hot, and it’s because of their broken air conditioners.
After Irma ravaged the whole state of Florida as a category 4 storm on Sept.10, it took away the one thing that Floridians desperately need—electricity.
“Hurricane Irma’s march across Florida and the Southeast triggered one of the biggest blackouts in U.S. history, plunging as many as 13 million people into the dark as the storm dragged down power lines and blew out transformers,” according to the Miami Herald.
Many residents are growing hot and impatient as they wait for Florida Power & Light to get a move on and turn their lights back on. And that anger may quickly turn into fury.
FPL made a promise that they will have all “electricity up and running for all homes and businesses on the state’s east coast by the end of Sunday Sept. 17,” according to the Miami Herald.
That’s somewhat great news for one side, but bad news for the other. Sorry, west coast, but you are going to have to wait until Friday, Sept. 22 to get your lights back on.
It may not make sense why the hardest hit places should be the last to receive power, but the President and CEO of FPL, Eric Silagy, said it best.
“Due to the fact that Irma has slowed considerably, we’re seeing significant damage and severe flooding in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, with Irma’s impacts now being felt in Palm Beach County and northern coastal communities. We expect the west coast to be the hardest-hit area, requiring an extensive rebuild of our energy grid. As a result, our west coast customers will likely be without power for a much longer period of time. We urge everyone to continue to stay safe and ask for your patience,” he said.
I get it. It’s hot and there’s no power in the house to do everyday household routines. Many people are frustrated by the fact that FPL is taking so long to get things done, so much that some have taken to social media to bash them.
However, people need to be patient. Understand this—these workers were not only affected the same way as Florida residents were, but they are human beings too.
There is so much work that goes into restoring power. It is not a simple as it seems. First off, with all the devastation the hurricane left, people need to take into consideration the amount of damage that Irma caused through strong winds, storm surges, tornado activity and flooding that affected the power grid.
They also need to prioritize power plants and critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations that have damages and restore them immediately to be used for people that were hurt in the storm.
Plus, FPL is a monopoly, which means that it is the only company in Florida that supplies power to its customers. This does not give customers much of a choice of finding someone to resolve this issue and automatically put them in the position of having to wait until it does.
And the biggest issue and most important is manpower. They have almost 17,000 workers helping restore power to 13 million people.
Obviously, the ratio of those affected is more than the amount of people working to solve the issue. As a result, FPL had to call in workers from other states to be a part of this effort to bring light back to the Sunshine State.
But all of this doesn’t mean that FPL doesn’t care about its customers.
I am not saying I’m okay with people suffering in heat. However, my message is clear—be patient. It will take some time for things to get back to normal. FPL is doing all they can to get things running for the state of Florida and get residents feeling cool again.
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Featured Image: Aubrey Carr/PantherNow