(Reuters) - U.S. Southeast utilities said on Friday they restored power to over 80 percent of the 7.8 million homes and businesses knocked out by Hurricane Irma, leaving about 1.5 million of those customers still without electricity.
Based on the number of individuals each customer represents, that, however, still leaves about 3.2 million people sweltering in the Florida and Georgia heat without air conditioning.
Most of the remaining outages were in Florida Power & Light’s service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state. FPL, the state’s biggest electric company, said 960,000 customers had no power, down from more than 3.6 million on Monday.
NextEra Energy Inc’s FPL, which serves nearly 5 million homes and businesses, has said it expects to restore power to essentially all customers in the eastern portion of Florida by the end of the weekend and the harder-hit western part of the state by Sept. 22.
Outages at Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of Florida, fell below 300,000 from a peak of around 1.3 million on Monday. Duke said it expects to restore service to most of its customers by midnight Sept. 17.
In coming days, temperatures are forecast to reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in Miami, the high 80s F (low 30s C) in Jacksonville and the mid-80s F (around 30 C) in Atlanta, according to meteorologists at AccuWeather.
Irma hit southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, the second most severe on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. On Monday, when most customers were without power, the storm weakened to a tropical depression.
In Georgia, utilities reported outages fell to about 61,000 from a peak of around 1.3 million on Monday.
Other big power utilities in Florida are units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the largest electric company in Georgia.
The following lists major outages according to the utilities’ websites:
Power Company State Out Now Served
NextEra - FPL FL 960,000 4,904,000
Duke - Florida FL 294,000 1,800,000
Lee County Electric FL 61,000 200,000
Emera - Tampa Electric FL 41,600 425,000
Southern - Georgia Power GA 31,500 2,482,000
Georgia EMCs GA 30,100
Clay Electric FL 24,700 173,000
JEA FL 20,900 455,000
SECO FL 16,300 200,600
Keys Energy Services FL 13,900 29,000
Florida Keys Electric FL 12,200 33,000
Glades Electric FL 11,400 16,000
Withlacoochee River Electric FL 8,200 217,000
Orlando Utilities Commission FL 7,400 234,700
Suwanee Valley Electric FL 4,800 25,600
Peace River Electric FL 3,000 40,000
Gainesville Regional Utilities FL 2,600 93,000
Central Florida Electric FL 2,300 35,600
Duke - South Carolina NC, SC 1,100 740,000
Total Out 1,547,000
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by W Simon and Jonathan Oatis