Irma Latest: Utility says it will take weeks to restore power

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A viral Facebook post indicated that Florida Power & Light would be shutting down power before Hurricane Irma arrives, but that's not the case, the company said. "We work 24/7 to restore power", an FPL spokesman said.

It threatens to knock out power to more than 4.1 million homes and businesses served by FPL, affecting around 9 million people based on the current storm track, the utility's chief executive said.

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Florida Power & Light announced on Thursday it will shut down the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants ahead of Irma's expected arrival this weekend.

A series of explosions and meltdowns occurred at the Fukushima nuclear plant after a massive quake unleashed a powerful tsunami that shut the facility's cooling systems and led to meltdowns.

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"FPL has built the most sophisticated and strongest power grid in the nation". That is a decrease from the Category 5 designation Irma previously held.

The inspectors will remain at the nuclear plant sites and the incident response center will remain staffed until the agency is assured that the storm no longer poses a risk to these facilities, the agency said.

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"This storm is unprecedented as far as strength and size". Improvements include replacing wooden poles and transmission structures with concrete ones, installing real-time water monitors to alert the utility to flooding at 223 substations susceptible to storm surge, using smart meters to identify outages more quickly and automated switching technology to reroute around trouble spots.

Depending on the outcome of the storm, damage to FPL's infrastruction could be extensive and require days or weeks of restoration, the release said.

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Florida Light & Power said it had almost 17,000 restoration workers positioned across Florida.

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