Coral Gables set to sue FPL as power still out for many residents

CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) Areas of Coral Gables remain without power and some residents are getting fed up.

“When is my power coming back” — the universal cry of those without service FPL.

The tree lined community of Coral Gables is suffering from downed trees and foliage which led to downed power lines that proved difficult to quickly repair.

That’s no excuse if you ask Coral Gables city attorney Craig Leen, who is set to sue FPL and already has cited the power company.

“We cited FPL,” said Leen. “They have a fine that could be up to $15,000 per day for the next two days and after that there is no limit to the fine. Ultimately its $500 per customer.”

FPL had set a goal to have power completely restored in southeast Florida by Sunday night, which did not happen.

Now it looks like Tuesday and is the reality, and an FPL worker explains why.

“We got into the neighborhoods,” said Richard Gibbs with FPL. “We found out that there was a lot of vegetation impacting both access and actually impacting the lines themselves.”

Which makes restoration in locations like Coral Gables a slow process.

But no solace for Olga Gani and her husband James, who is in hospice at home, in stifling heat where it’s hard to breathe. James can’t be moved.

“we don’t have electricity since last Saturday,” Olga said through tears. “We cannot move him, he’s in hospice. If they move him it would be too much stress and he would probably die. We need help to get electricity but they do nothing.”

The city attorney says 92% of the Gables’ power is restored but not in the Gani’s area and since FPL did not make their Sunday deadline they are, according to the city attorney, in violation of their agreement with the city and could be negligent.

“We’re looking at a potential lawsuit against FPL under our franchise agreement,” Gibbs said. “This is something we would be doing on behalf of Coral Gables but also on behalf of other cities throughout South Florida. FPL needs to have better infrastructure to be able to deal with hurricanes.

Additionally, CBS4 has learned that the City of Pinecrest voted on Monday to also sue FPL.