25% of Florida Keys houses destroyed as 15 million Floridians have no power
(CNN)As some Florida Keys residents return to their devastated islands Tuesday, 15 million Floridians are learning when they’ll finally get power back.
All customers who lost electricity on the eastern side of the state will likely have power restored by the end of this weekend, Florida Power & Light said Tuesday.
Customers on the west coast of Florida — where Hurricane Irma made its final landfall — will likely have power restored by September 22.
It’s a long wait for those sifting through what’s left of their homes in the oppressive heat, bombarded by high humidity and relentless mosquitoes.
But residents like William Rose have bigger concerns. Rose still can’t reach his family on the Florida Keys, where a quarter of the islands’ houses are annihilated.
He’s not sure whether his mother, stepdad, grandmother and aunt survived Irma’s wrath.
“I have no idea, but I’m trying to stay positive,” Rose said.
Before the Keys lost cell phone service, he received a text from his mother, who chose not to evacuate.
“This is terrible. I will never do this again,” the text read. “I’m so glad you got out.”
15 million people without power — just in Florida
Massive power outages are crippling much of the Southeast on Tuesday. Among the hardest hit by Irma:
- Florida: About 15 million people are without power across the state, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
- Georgia: More than 1.3 million customers — which includes households and businesses — are in the dark, according to Georgia Power and Georgia EMC.
- South Carolina: 161,000 customers lost power, according to Duke Energy and SCE&G.
- North Carolina: More than 62,000 customers don’t have electricity, according to Duke Energy.
- Alabama: More than 20,000 customers lost electricity, Alabama Power said Tuesday.
9 states impacted
Irma, which stretched 650 miles from east to west, has pummeled at least nine states — deluging city streets, uprooting trees and destroying homes along the way.
Although Irma is now a tropical depression, it’s still expected to bring torrential rainfall as far north as North Carolina on Tuesday.
At least six storm-related deaths have already been reported, according to local officials:
- Georgia had three deaths. A 62-year-old man who was on his roof was killed in Worth County, which experienced wind gusts of 69 mph. Another man was killed in Sandy Springs when a tree fell on his house. And a woman was killed when a tree struck her vehicle in Cumming.
- Florida had two deaths. A driver died in a crash on State Road 417. Another person died in Miami-Dade County from carbon monoxide poisoning after using a generator indoors.
- South Carolina had one death. A 57-year-old man was struck by a falling tree limb during the storm.
SOURCE: MORE INFO @ CNN