FPL prepping Southwest Florida for 2019 hurricane season

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
In this Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 photo, utility crews set up new poles and utility wires in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla. It’s the greatest need after a hurricane and sometimes the hardest one to fulfill: Electricity. More than a week after Hurricane Michael smashed into the Florida Panhandle on a path of destruction that led all the way to the Georgia border, more than 100,000 Florida customers were still without power, according to the state Department of Emergency Management website. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Southwest Florida still feels effects from Hurricane Irma in 2017. With another storm season nearing, a major power company is preparing and working toward preventative measures for home safety.

Florida Power & Light is taking proactive steps to keep lights on and our homes safe leading toward 2019 hurricane season.

FPL is trimming trees away from power lines.

“Trees were the number-one cause of outages during Hurricane Irma, “said Bill Orlove with FPL. “Now before hurricane season, it’s a good time to look at your home, look at your landscaping, take the time now to trim your trees.”

And coming up with ways to repair storm damage as quickly as possible with the use of technology like drones.

“If there’s a flooded area, before waiting for the water to subside, we can take a drone and fly it into that community or area to assess the damage,” said Eric Schwartz with FPL.

Mark Moravec remembers the aftermath of Irma in his Island Park neighborhood.

“The flooding was about 15 feet,” Moravec said. “I think from my front door.”

Moravec went without power for more than a week. That’s why he takes storm prep seriously.

“I make sure my generators are ready to go,” Moravec said.

Jo Ann Kowlaski, another Island Park homeowner, hopes she won’t have damage. So, she’s doing what she can now to prepare.

“We do have people that come and do yard work,” Kowlaski. “So we do ask them to cut back the trees and make sure that’s taken care of away from the power lines and windows and stuff.”

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