Irma Aftermath – Florida Struggles for Survival

With the hurricane danger out of the picture, darker days await for people living in Florida – more than 40% of the state still lacks electricity

Florida currently struggles for survival, as 40% of the state still has no electricity, and it may not come back for days and even weeks.

“We understand what it means to be in the dark,” said Robert Gould, vice president and chief communications officer for Florida Power and Light (FPL), the state’s largest utility. “We understand what it means to be hot and without air conditioning. We will be restoring power day and night.”

But, he acknowledged: “This is going to be a very uncomfortable time.”

The discomfort means that the refrigerators are unable to cool food, laundry machines can’t clean clothes, while the other potential danger is high temperatures with no possibility of using an air conditioning system.

At the same time, even for those who have power, some of them are struggling to maintain cellphone service and Internet access, which sends them in the streets in an effort to find a few precious bars of signal.

“It’s a mess, a real mess. The biggest issue is power,” said Bill Barnett, mayor of Naples, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. “We just need power. It’s 92 degrees and the sun is out and it’s smoking out there.”

Utility companies are doing their best to make progress, in a massive effort to restore power to as many as possible. The Department of Homeland Security mentioned that about 15 million Floridians lack power.