Thousands lose power on Sanibel, Pine Island

Published: September 27, 2022 1:12 PM EDT
Updated: September 28, 2022 2:05 PM EDT

FPL crews are staging the Charlotte County Airport to prepare ahead of Ian’s arrival.

There are about 20 staging sites up and down Florida’s west coast. Severe weather, including heavy rain, flooding and high winds, is expected to cause widespread outages throughout Florida’s western and northern peninsula over the next few days.

As of 12 p.m. on Wednesday, LCEC said more than 8,000 people have lost power on Sanibel and Captiva. On Pine Island, there are 7,000 outages reported.

Around 4,000 Marco Island residents are without power as of 7:45 a.m.  Wednesday morning. LCEC is pre-staged and will respond when it is deemed safe.

They all came across the country to help Florida get its electricity back as soon as possible.

A Florida Power and Light spokesperson said there are more than 16,000 people helping to get power restored quickly in case of any outages.

The staging site is housing all the trucks for the vegetation crews. They go in and clear any trees or debris so other crews can go in and get the power back on.

“FPL has a plan and when we’re not responding to a storm, we are preparing for one,” said FPL spokesman Jose Labrador. “This is part of that effort. By having our crews at strategic positions, it minimizes the time and effort it takes to quickly respond and get the lights back on. So these crews, when they are going out, their fuel tank is full, they have the resources that they need and they are near the area that has been impacted to help and get the service restored quickly.”

MORE: LCEC’s power outage map

LCEC is also preparing ahead of the storm.

According to a news release, LCEC utilizes professional trimmers to trim trees in utility easements or trees contacting power lines.

LCEC’s line crews are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to brave severe weather, life-threatening situations and unique environmental challenges to ensure the lights stay on. They use the proper safety equipment and emphasize safe work practices. It is important for customers to be aware of the following safety measures also:

  • Do not touch downed power lines.
  • Do not step in water near a downed power line.
  • Do not touch a person who has come in contact with an energized power line. Call 911.

LCEC also has tips to keep you safe when using a generator.

  • Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter or a regular household outlet.
  • Connect individual appliances that have their outdoor-rated power cords directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator with the appropriate outdoor-rated power cord having a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.
  • Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator.
  • Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Like your automobile, a portable generator uses an internal combustion engine emitting deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Gasoline (and other flammable liquids) should be stored outside living areas in labeled, non-glass safety containers.
  • Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

LCEC said customers can rest assured LCEC line crews will quickly work to restore any power disruptions.

How to report power outages: 

FPL customers with outages should call to report or check the status of an outage at 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

LCEC customers with outages should call 239-656-2300 or 800-599-2356.