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Hurricane Irma aftermath: FPL spent billions but power failed

MiamiHerald / When Hurricane Irma side-swiped South Florida, almost every home fell into darkness and tropical heat.

Tens of thousands of customers suffered a week or more without power. Overall, nearly 4.5 million of Florida Power & Light’s 4.9 million customers had their power fail, including 92 percent of accounts in Miami-Dade County and 85 percent in Broward County.

The widespread outages happened despite FPL spending nearly $3 billion over the past decade to “harden” its electrical grid against the next monster storm. The investor-owned utility – which by law makes a guaranteed profit for shareholders between 9.6 and 11.6 percent – says it responded quickly to restore outages and that its storm-hardening efforts are working.

“We were able to get the vast majority of people’s lights back on within a few days,” said FPL spokesman Peter Robbins.

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