FPL says this will help get your power on faster after a storm


About 100 hurricane technicians can stay overnight

Completion is expected in the fall

As South Florida approaches the height of the 2017 hurricane season, Florida Power & Light is finishing up a new service center officials say will speed up response time.

“Our restoration specialists will be in the best possible positions to get the lights back on as soon as possible,” said FPL spokesman Chris McGrath.

Scheduled for completion in the fall, the new 25,000-square-foot building on the southwest corner of Delaware Boulevard and Indiantown Road is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

The project is part of FPL’s overall plan to improve service center buildings and equipment to improve response time for repairs in it’s 35-county service area. Similar improvements are being made to FPL’s service center near Old Boynton Beach Road west of Interstate 95 in Boynton Beach.

The former service center in Jupiter was demolished. The new two-story FPL building is four times as large.

Up to about 100 “storm riders” will be able to stay at the new building. The repair and engineering crews will stay in the building overnight during emergencies.

“Having our restoration specialists at the service center allows them to get closer to the damage and make repairs,” said McGrath.

Juno Beach-based FPL has invested more than $3 billion since 2006 to build what it calls a stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient energy grid. FPL said it restored more than 1 million customer interruptions less than 48 hours after Hurricane Matthew exited the area.

Matthew, which was a Category 4 as it skirted Palm Beach County’s coast, then traveled up the state’s east coast, was the 10th most destructive storm in U.S. history.

In Palm Beach County, 49,000 people in mobile or manufactured homes, and 90,000 who live on barrier islands or along some areas of the Intracoastal, were asked to evacuate for Matthew.

Not all of them evacuated.

Improved equipment, which is designed to withstand more severe weather conditions, performed approximately 1 1/2 times better during Matthew. No poles along FPL’s transmission or distribution network failed because of wind from Matthew. Any damage to FPL electrical equipment was due largely to debris and fallen trees and limbs, according to FPL.

The Jupiter plan calls for a driveway for trucks and other service vehicles on Delaware Boulevard. The town’s planning staff recommended against the driveway.

There will be no gas stored at the new building. After a storm, company fuel trucks will arrive to provide gasoline to the trucks staged there.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

NEW: Tear-filled memorial in Florida for world's oldest captive manatee
NEW: Tear-filled memorial in Florida for world's oldest captive manatee

The South Florida Museum in Bradenton hosted a memorial and open house today to give fans a chance to celebrate the life of Snooty, the beloved manatee who died in July at age 69. A 10-minute video tribute featuring images taken from throughout Snooty's long life drew tears from many in the audience, the Bradenton Herald reported. "Snooty...
Shark bites surfer at Lake Worth Beach
Shark bites surfer at Lake Worth Beach

A surfer had to be hospitalized Sunday afternoon after being bitten by a shark at Lake Worth Beach. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said the bite happened about 1:50 p.m. When paramedics arrived, the man was already on the beach, being tended to by lifeguards. He was bitten in an “upper extremity,” according to the fire department. According...
Skimmer found at bank ATM in Royal Palm Beach
Skimmer found at bank ATM in Royal Palm Beach

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help identifying at least two men who officials say installed a credit card skimming device on a bank automatic teller machine in Royal Palm Beach. Bank surveillance video shows the men, who were believed to be driving a 2016 or 2017 gray Kia Sorento, installing the skimming...
How did cell carriers hold up during Irma? They don’t have to tell you
How did cell carriers hold up during Irma? They don’t have to tell you

On the day after Hurricane Irma tore through Florida, more than one in four cellphone towers in the state were out of service, a worse knockout than hurricanes Sandy and Harvey inflicted. But if you want to know how well each cellphone carrier handled the storm, you’re out of luck. A 4-year-old proposal to require America’s cell carriers...
LOOK: Rescuers help stranded dolphin in Florida Keys
LOOK: Rescuers help stranded dolphin in Florida Keys

A female dolphin stranded near the shores of Sugarloaf Key was helped by a group of rescuers on Saturday. A homeowner making repairs to his window broken after Hurricane Irma spotted the dolphin near his home around 11 a.m. He called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and soon a group of people were helping to return the slightly burned female...
More Stories