In the four days since Irma stormed through the area, power has been restored to about 75% of our affected consumers. Transmission service has also been restored to all SVEC substations. Approximately 5,500 consumers remain without power.
Our original goal was to complete power restoration by the end of this week. The goal is now to restore power to 98% of consumers who are able to receive service by Sunday night, recognizing that damage done to some homes and the remoteness of others may delay service a while longer.
We maintain more than 80,000 poles, 4,400 miles of power lines, and numerous transformers and other electrical devices on our system. In a territory that covers about 2,000 square miles, it takes time to find everything that needs to be repaired. We’ve been finding more damage every day.
As an example of the magnitude of the damage, 175 broken poles have been found so far, and that number is sure to rise. In comparison, the number of poles broken by Hurricane Hermine was 79. It takes 2-4 hours to replace a broken pole, depending on its type and size.
We understand the inconvenience and pain people are experiencing from the outages caused by Irma. Our employees and the other professionals we have brought in to help are doing everything they can to get people on as quickly and safely as possible.
Fifty-four employees from SVEC, 40 from contractors and 53 from mutual-aid cooperatives are in the field today restoring power. Thank you for your patience.