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.

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.

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.