Nuclear plants in Hurricane Irma's path are shutting down

Search and rescue teams in Florida are swinging into action as daylight reveals the extent of damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma

Electricity generator Florida Power & Light said on Thursday it will shut its two nuclear power plants before Irma comes ashore as a very powerful hurricane.

FPL has pre-staged approximately 16,000 people at the Daytona International Speedway awaiting the all clear to deploy and assist. Palm Beach County had more than 40,000 outages.

FPL says it serves 210,700 customers in Collier County and 259,900 customers in Lee County.

Florida Power & Light Company said that almost 1.1 million customers statewide were without power Sunday morning.

Florida Power & Light announced on Thursday it will shut down the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants ahead of Irma's expected arrival this weekend.

Before and after in Brickell Miami
Before and after in Brickell Miami

FPL is a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy Inc. "We have to be ever vigilant", Gould said. It is one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the U.S.in the last century.

For many, it will now be a waiting game because FPL crews can't work to restore power once winds reach 35 miles per hour or higher.

Much of the state has yet to feel the full brunt of the storm as Irma barrelled across the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and rolled up the state's southwest coast with maximum sustained winds of 195km/h, making it a Category 3 storm, the third worst on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

"We have amassed the largest restoration force in the history of the country to respond to Hurricane Irma". Silagy said that was a technique that worked during Super Storm Sandy in the Northeast and FPL found it worked during Hurricane Matthew previous year.

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