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Power Restored to 98 Percent of Florida Homes One Week After Hurricane Idalia

“This has probably been the fastest restoration – even faster than we did during Hurricane Ian,” Governor DeSantis said.

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PERRY, FLORIDA — The lights are back on for half a million Floridians who lost power during Hurricane Idalia last week.

As of Wednesday morning, over 98 percent of residents who lost electricity have had their power restored since the Category 3 hurricane pummeled the state’s Big Bend region on Wednesday. More than 500,000 Floridians lost power during the storm.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis praised the “impressive” work of all those involved in the “24/7 effort.”

“This has probably been the fastest restoration – even faster than we did during Hurricane Ian. That’s something that’s really meaningful,” he said. “Since Hurricane Idalia made landfall, we’ve been working with all levels of government as well as our partners in the private sector to ensure that we had rapid restoration of power.”

DeSantis added that the state had 30,000 linemen “staged” and on standby before the storm hit. The linemen were working to restore power in impacted communities just hours after the hurricane had passed through Florida.

“That’s a pretty incredible amount of manpower that was ready to go,” he said. “They’ve had to do a lot over these last [5] days: repair the grid, rebuild substations, restore transmission lines, putting up new poles, putting in new lines. Having the assets prepositioned has made a big difference.”

The governor added that the level of damage suffered at a given residence impacts how quickly the power can be restored.

“Some areas may take a little longer just depending on what the damage to the underlying infrastructure was,” he said. “There’s some areas you’d think would have been really bad that actually handled it okay.”

After spending several days on the ground in the hardest-hit communities, DeSantis noted how much gratitude he hears from local residents when they see the commitment of the first-responders.

“I know Floridians are appreciative when they see those power trucks coming into the state on the eve of a storm and when they see the linemen out there working,” he said. “It’s not easy work, it’s tough work, it’s hazardous work and […] when hurricanes pass it’s usually hot, sunny and muggy. That’s what they’ve had to work on in this late August, early September weather.

“I take my hat’s off to all the folks from Duke [Energy], [Florida Power and Light], local co-ops, municipalities – thanks for working together to help restore power to these communities so quickly.”