Statement From: Barry Moline, Executive Director, Florida Municipal Electric Association
Regarding Assistance from Governor Rick Scott During Hurricane Matthew Power Restoration
“During trying times such as these, coordination and cooperation are critical. As Florida municipal electric utilities work to restore power to customers across the state, Governor Rick Scott has demonstrated his leadership by securing necessary resources that have enabled our crews to get on the ground and focus on the task at hand.
Now that Hurricane Matthew has moved away from Florida’s coastline, crews are able to head into areas that were still receiving direct impacts late Friday and begin full power restoration efforts. According to the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), restoration is now in full gear for the City of Green Cove Springs, Beaches Energy Services (Jacksonville Beach) and JEA. These areas are currently conducting damage assessments, evaluating staffing needs and restoring power where possible.
The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) reports more than 217,400 municipal utility customers are now without power as the state continues to be impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Roughly 15 percent of the state’s municipal utility customers are currently experiencing power outages in Alachua, Clay, Duval, Indian River, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Volusia Counties.
According to the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), there are approximately 74,400 municipal utility customers without power as the state begins to feel the impacts of Hurricane Matthew. Additional outages are expected as Hurricane Matthew continues its track up Florida’s eastern coastline. Power has already been restored to customers in FMEA member cities south of Ft. Pierce, including Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties.
Once it became evident that Hurricane Matthew was a threat to Florida, the FMEA began coordinating with municipal, cooperative and investor-owned utilities across the state and nation to assemble crews prepared to enter the affected areas once safe to assist with power restoration efforts.
President Barack Obama signed an order Thursday to coordinate supplies and equipment for Florida in advance of Hurricane Matthew. Gov. Rick Scott, who requested the pre-storm relief, including water, food and tarps, said after the order was signed that Florida will need more federal aid.
“I am asking the President for additional generators and pumps to help with power outages and flooding once the storm hits,” Scott said in a release Thursday afternoon.
Florida Power & Light has reached a settlement with a number of groups that challenged its request for $1.3 billion in base-rate hikes over the next four years, according to a paperwork filed Thursday with the Public Service Commission.
The proposed agreement with the Florida Retail Federation, Office of Public Counsel and the South Florida Hospital & Health Association, which must be approved by the commission, would cut the overall increase by about 37 percent.
In anticipation for Hurricane Matthew later this week, FMEA reminds you to stay safe and be prepared.
Depending on its path, Hurricane Matthew is capable of causing widespread power outages and catastrophic property damages. In addition, restoration may be hampered by flooding, downed trees or other obstacles. Electric crews are prepared to work long hours after the storm passes, restoring service to customers as quickly and as safely as possible. Stay away from downed power lines – don’t touch them.