About 2 million lose power in Florida from Irma, utilities say

A general view of the Turkey Point Nuclear Reactor Building in Homestead Florida

A viral Facebook post indicated that Florida Power & Light would be shutting down power before Hurricane Irma arrives, but that's not the case, the company said.

FPL is a unit of NextEra Energy Inc.

Hurricane Irma had knocked out power to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida just before noon Sunday, according to outage maps from the state's utilities, who were warning that some people may not regain electricity for weeks, despite billions of dollars in investments to strengthen the power grid in recent years.

FPL, the state's biggest power company, said more than 2.3 million of its customers were without service, including about half in Miami-Dade County. "This is a very powerful storm and every bit of Florida is going to feel its wrath".

As Hurricane Irma shifted toward the west coast of Florida on Saturday, restoration crews that were previously set up in Lake City are moving east toward Daytona Beach and toward the Treasure Coast, and Orlando crews are moving to South Florida, Gould said. It could become a Category 5 at any time.

FPL's two nuclear plants, Turkey Point and St. Lucie, will be closed on a gradual scale in advance of the onset of winds.

FPL has spent $3 billion since its system was slammed by seven hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

"Once restoration begins in earnest, our goal is to get as many customers up and running as soon as possible and we will not stop until all power is restored", the company's statement said.

He said 17,000 restoration workers from as far away as California and MA are already stationed around the state, but it will take time to rebuild the system.

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