© Reuters. A view of a closed restaurant by the beach ahead of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S. September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello
(Reuters) – More than 100,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida as Hurricane Ian approaches the state’s west coast on Wednesday, according to local power companies.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) projected Ian would cause “catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding in the Florida Peninsula.” The storm was located about 55 miles (89 kilometers) west of Naples, Florida, and was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT).
Florida Gulf Coast residents emptied grocery shelves, boarded up windows and fled to evacuation shelters as Hurricane Ian barreled closer on Wednesday, lashing the state’s southern tip hours before it was forecast to make U.S. landfall.
The utility with the most outages so far was Florida Power & Light Co (FPL), a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:).
FPL has activated its emergency response plan, which includes mobilizing more than 13,000 personnel to support the 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:
Power Company State/Pro Out Now Customers Served
NextEra – Florida FL 74,500 5,280,000
Lee County Electric Co-op FL 25,700 238,000
Total Out 100,200