About 1.5m homes left without power in Hurricane Irma’s wake
Florida’s biggest utility working to restore power to its customers still in the dark
About 1.5 million homes and businesses in Florida and Georgia remained without power on Friday after Hurricane Irma, including 46 of Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes caught in the deadly storm’s path.
Irma, ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record before striking the US mainland as a Category 4 hurricane on September 10, killed at least 84 people. Several hard-hit Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, suffered more than half the fatalities.
Florida Power & Light, owned by NextEra Energy Inc and the state’s biggest electric company, said it was working aggressively to restore power to the 23 per cent of its customers still in the dark.
The storm’s death toll grew to at least 33 people in Florida after a woman died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator in Palm Beach County. A total of eight others died in Georgia and the Carolinas. North Carolina reported its first Irma death on Friday, saying a man there also had died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator.
Eight elderly people died earlier last week after being exposed to the heat inside a nursing home north of Miami that had been left without full air conditioning after the hurricane hit.
Don Manley (left) and Pedro Castellano pull Manley’s boat, loaded with residents’ belongings, along a flooded Chapman Avenue in Bonita Springs, Florida, on September 15.