EEI > Issues & Policy > Electric Reliability > Mutual Assistance
Final Hurricane Irma Update: 95 Percent of Customers Restored Since Storm’s Peak
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As of 4:00 p.m. EDT, 95 percent of customers who lost power during Hurricane Irma have been restored. About 346,000 outages remain in Florida; at Irma’s peak just one week ago, on September 11, there were more than 7.8 million outages.*
The electric power industry mounted an industry-wide response to Irma that is one of the largest power restoration efforts in U.S. history. An army of 60,000 workers supported the Irma restoration and recovery effort. Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the electric power industry. See this mutual assistance in action in today’s socia media recap.

We know that being without electricity creates hardships and is frustrating. We greatly appreciate customers’ patience and understanding. For those customers who are still without power, please know that companies and crews will not stop their storm restoration efforts until the last customer who can receive power is restored.

Every electric company follows a detailed plan for restoring power after a storm like Irma. Once power plants and critical infrastructure are restored, crews move into individual neighborhoods and begin restoration efforts on a street-by-street basis.

Fallen trees and power lines and significant debris damage in the hardest-hit areas are creating significant challenges for crews, including trees pulling down power lines and dense vegetation blocking roadways.

Unfortunately, some customers may not be able to receive power to their homes after it’s restored because of damage. Many local codes require that a licensed electrician or a city/county inspector check the system before power can be restored. This will delay the restoration of service for some customers.

We are profoundly grateful to the heroic men and women who worked and who continue to work around the clock to restore power, often far from their loved ones and amid dangerous conditions.

* It is important to remember that outages measure customer meters impacted, not the number of individuals without power. As Irma unfolded, some customers experienced more than one outage. Customers in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina also experienced Irma-related impacts; no significant outages remain in those states.

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The Mutual Assistance Network

Restoring power after a major storm is a complex task, and a speedy restoration requires significant logistical expertise, along with skilled line workers and specialized equipment. Electric companies affected by significant outages often turn to the industry’s mutual assistance network—a voluntary partnership of electric companies from across the country—to help speed restoration.

Mutual assistance is an essential part of the electric power industry’s service restoration process and contingency planning. The mutual assistance network is a cornerstone of electric company operations during emergencies. 

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