Nearly half of Florida could be without electricity after Hurricane Irma

As ferocious Hurricane Irma barrels toward South Florida packing winds greater than 150 mph, Florida Power & Light officials estimate nearly half of the state's 20 million residents could lose power in the category 4 storm's wake. But the company, which serves five million accounts representing 10 million people in 35 counties, says it is well-prepared to restore power and rebuild the infrastructure it predicts Irma will demolish.

Hurricane Irma knocks out power to more than 7 million

More than 7 million are in the dark following Hurricane Irma's brutal weekend beating of the state. The estimated 7.2 million people without power represent 3.6 million Florida Power & Light Co. customer accounts. The company, which serves 5 million accounts representing 10 million people in 35 counties, expected about 3.4 million customer accounts, representing an estimated 6 million people would lose power in Irma's wake.

Power coming back, residents return in Irma-battered Florida

Virtually all East Coast customers of the state's biggest provider of power should have power restored by Sunday, and western customers will be fully up and running five days later, Florida Power & Light said Tuesday. Company spokesman Rob Gould said a preliminary assessment of Hurricane Irma's devastation indicated damage to the electrical infrastructure was not as extensive as expected. That included the western coast, which took a direct hit from Irma.

The largest power company in Florida just lost power during a news conference about Irma

Not even the Florida Power & Light Co. Command Center can escape a beating from Hurricane Irma. The $3.8 million, five-year-old building off Military Trail, constructed to withstand a Category 5 storm, lost power as feeder bands from Irma pounded the state. The outage interrupted an 11:30 a.m. news briefing. FPL is Florida's largest electric utility company and the country's third largest.

A look inside Florida Power & Light's Hurricane Irma 'bunker'

Florida Power & Light Co.’s 10,000-square-foot Riviera Beach Command Center is essentially Florida’s Fort Knox. It’s made of layers of concrete block that can withstand Category 5 winds of 157 mph and higher. That’s why 112 of FPL’s employees are stationed there to ride out Hurricane Irma, monitor power outages of its 5 million customers, and coordinate a massive restoration effort involving 17,000 utilities workers from 30 states and Canada.