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Almost a million Tampa Bay residents still without power after Irma

Almost a million Tampa Bay residents still without power after Irma

A unit of NextEra Energy Inc and the state's biggest power company, FPL said its outages held at around 3.6 million for much of Monday morning. Since customers includes homes and businesses, these numbers do not reflect the full amount of individuals who lost electricity. It gradually weakened to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression on Monday.

The hurricane struck northern Caribbean islands last week, leaving at least 44 people dead, before it smashed into the U.S. mainland over the weekend, with at least 33 storm-related deaths reported.

Electricity company Florida Power & Light said on Monday it was doing final checks before bringing back nuclear reactors that were powered down as Hurricane Irma hit Florida. "We had 4.4 million customers impacted and we've already restored 1.3 million", Silagy said.

Florida outages for Duke, the state's second biggest power company serving the northern and central parts of the state, remained at about 1.2 million overnight, according to the company's website, while Duke's outages in North and SC climbed to about 160,000. Nursing homes, shelters, major thoroughfares are priorities.

The total number of customers still out, representing about 9 million people in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, dipped from a peak of more than 7.8 million customers, or over 16 million people, on Monday. At least 17 storm-related deaths have already been reported on the United States mainland, according to local officials: Florida has reported 12 deaths, Alberto C. Moscoso, a spokesman for Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Tuesday evening.Georgia had three deaths.

For customers using electric generators, FPL advised residents to set them up outside, away from all open windows, to prevent deadly exhaust from entering a home. That includes a 57-year-old man struck by a tree limb during the storm in Calhoun Falls; a 54-year-old man who died in a mobile home because of carbon monoxide poisoning while a generator was running; and a man who died in a auto crash in Richland County.

Many deaths that occur as a result of a big storm are not caused by flooding or wind. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the top killers as people turn to gas stoves to stay warm or use portable generators to power their refrigerators or air conditioners. With the sweltering temperatures, restoration of power is crucial, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.

They have now been moved to Miami at the request of Florida Power and Light. Almost 19,500 FPL employees and workers from other utilities and electrical contracting companies are working to restore power, mostly in the utility's South Florida service territory. The company, however, warned it would take longer to restore customers with tornado damage or severe flooding.

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