Sept 28 (Reuters) - More than 524,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida as Hurricane Ian approached the state's west coast on Wednesday, according to local power companies.
In total, Ian has affected more than 830,000 customers so far. That means some utilities have restored outages now that the storm has passed southern Florida even though the number of current outages was increasing as the storm starts to head inland.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Ian was causing catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding in the Florida Peninsula. The storm was located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west northwest of Fort Myers, Florida, and was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).
Florida Gulf Coast residents emptied grocery shelves, boarded up windows and fled to evacuation shelters as Hurricane Ian barreled closer on Wednesday.
The utility with the most outages so far was Florida Power & Light Co (FPL), a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy Inc (<NEE.N>).
FPL has activated its emergency response plan, which includes mobilizing more than 13,000 personnel to support power restoration efforts, pre-positioning key equipment and supplies, and coordinating with county and state emergency operations centers.
The following table lists major outages by utility:
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