Appalachian Power sending hundreds to Florida, Georgia

Irma to Test Florida Utility's $3 Billion of Power-Grid Upgrades

In all, nearly 1.8 million FPL homes and businesses had lost power.

"This is likely to be one of the largest and most complex power restoration efforts in USA history", said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group.

Eric Silagy, the CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company's history. He said 19,500 electric workers have been deployed in the restoration effort.

Florida outages for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, increased to more than 1.1 million, according to the company's website.

In total more than 4.5 million FPL customers were affected by the storm, with over 1.6 million having their service restored already, mostly by automated devices.

As the storm weakens as it heads toward Georgia, outages have leveled off or even declined at some Florida utilities, while increasing in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Locations without power have been flagged to the state to help utilities prioritize their work, the group said in a statement.

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Much of the state has not yet felt the full brunt of the storm as Irma barreled across the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and headed for the state's southwest coast with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, making it a Category 4 storm, the second worst on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

In Georgia, utilities reported over 1.2 million customers without power Tuesday morning.

FPL has warned customers to prepare for outages that could last weeks if Irma requires the utility to rebuild parts of its service territory.

FPL said its two nuclear plants in Florida were safe.

Electricity generator Florida Power & Light, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc, generates enough power for about 1.9 million homes at the Turkey Point and St. Lucie plants.

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