Irma Knocks Out Power to Nearly 2.2 Million Customers in Florida
“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley." ("The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”) -- Scottish poet Robert Burns, "To a Mouse"
Hurricane Irma is making a wreck of power utility and communications infrastructure as it continues to pound southern Florida and make its way up the state's west coast towards Tampa.
Nearly 2.2 million utility customers were without power as of Sunday afternoon outage maps from the state’s utilities revealed, according to a Wall St. Jounral Online news ujpdate. Utilities were warning residents power might not be restored for weeks in some areas.
Florida 's investor-owned utilites have spent billions in public and private capital in recent years developing and implementing plans to enhance grid resiliency, to no avail.
Hurricane Irma has set historical records in terms of the strength of its sustained winds and size, but what may have up until now been once in 100, 500, or even 1,000-year extreme weather events may become more of the norm rather than the exception, or so the world's leading climate scientists have been warning.
The devastation Irma, and Harvey some two weeks ago, have caused indicates a pressing need for utilities, regional grid systems operators, industry and market regulators to step up and speed up a fundamental rethink of how power grids are designed, how they're built and managed and the materials and technologies used to build them.
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