FPU updates power situation on island

Updated Sept. 13 at 2:05 p.m.

After this story was published, FPU officials stated the following Tuesday evening on the company's Hurricane Irma Update site: "We anticipate being able to restore service to the majority of the remaining customers within the next 4 to 5 days, but we believe total restoration may not be completed for 7-10 days."

In an interview with the News-Leader, Ramiro Sicre, a government relations manager with Florida Public Utilities, knocked down rumors that the company’s main lines that feed power from the mainland onto Amelia Island were damaged during the island’s brush with Hurricane Irma this week.

Sicre also said FPU crews expected to have power restored to about 50 percent of Amelia Island customers by Tuesday evening but stopped short of providing an estimate for the balance of repair operations.

He cited more extensive damage to the company’s infrastructure than was seen when Hurricane Matthew struck the area nearly one year ago. He said that some of the worst damage occurred in areas where some residents believe tornadoes touched down, such as in Amelia Park and near Harris Teeter.

According to Sicre, FPU began restoration operations late Monday as the outer bands of Irma began leaving the area. Crews followed company procedure to restore power as quickly as possible to essential services on the island, such as the hospital, grocery stories and schools, he said.

In addition, crews had power back on in downtown Fernandina Beach and some surrounding neighborhoods as well as Old Town Fernandina by 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sicre stated.

The FPU executive said residents can follow FPU progress by visiting bit.ly/2vT3jh2 and monitoring the company’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Sicre also encouraged residents to following instructions on the company’s website for reporting outages that crews may not have yet discovered.

Florida Public Utilities customers on Amelia Island can call (800) 427-7712 if they are still without power.

Florida Power and Light customers off the island can either go to www.fpl.com/my-account/web-outage.html to report an outage if you can find internet access, or call 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

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