FPL invests $4 billion to harden power grids in Labelle, across the state

Right now, workers with Florida Power & Light are making sure your power lines stay strong – not just through hurricane season, but all year long.

Many in Southwest Florida remember those long, hot, sweaty days post Hurricane Irma. Fallen trees and broken power lines left some homeowners, including Scott Cornish, without power for weeks.

“This is my disaster,” Cornish said.

It even took a while for streetlights to return to illumination.

That is where FPL comes in.

In FPL’s storm hardening project, workers were along Loblolly Bay Rd SW and Kirby Thompson Rd in Labelle on Thursday. They were putting in a concrete pole around 55 ft high. Shawn DuBose, an FPL construction supervisor, said they want to make sure those powerlines are storm resilient.

“We’re installing mid stand poles and larger class poles to withhold the wind load,” DuBose said, “in case we get a hurricane or stuff like that.”

All year round, the company works to make sure power lines across the state are stronger and more reliable. They have been working on the program since 2006, after the destruction by Hurricane Wilma. Since then, they have invested nearly $4 billion in hardening systems across the state.

The site is not the only project FPL is working on to maintain its power systems. Its storm secure underground program puts power lines underground to make sure trees and other debris do not leave you without power during the next storm.

Marie Bertot, an FPL spokesperson, said the move is a long term investment in their infrastructure.

“It’s just part of the way that we’re helping to provide even better reliability,” Bertot said.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Michael Mora
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