We dodged a bullet when it comes to Dorian. But Dorian did bring the first form of significant adversity we face during hurricanes to tens of thousands of homes. Power outages. But once power was lost it didn’t stay that way for long.
In a span of about 24 hours Tuesday into Wednesday over 150,000 homes lost power to hurricane Dorian. That pales in comparison to the millions who lost power during Irma, but the size of the workforce ready to restore power did not. A remarkable 17,000 people stood ready to restore power stationed at 12 locations across Florida in advance of the storm. Complete with chainsaw crews and lineman, they were ready to roll at a moment's notice which for FPL occurs when winds drop below tropical storm force. And they did.
Putting into practice everything learned from Irma, an unprecedented power crew assembled across the state and restored over 99.8% of the power in almost under two hours. Now, had the conditions been worse and winds stayed longer the story would no doubt be much different. But what was clear as crews restored power between bands as needed, was that often they weren’t even needed. Many of the fixes were done remotely using the smart meters. Others never happened because of the improvement with the under-grounding test areas throughout South Florida.
What’s clear is that Dorian was a drill for Florida, and it provided a look into the future. Through technology, unprecedented readiness learned from hurricane Irma, and the under-grounding of power lines already underway to be completed statewide within the next thirty years, The first negative impact from hurricanes in Florida may eventually be about the last.
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