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Locals prepare for Irma with FPL warning in mind

FPL on Thursday, warned a storm as powerful as Irma could bring outages similar to those caused by Frances and Jeanne.

For those who went through hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma, in 2004 and 2005, you know after a storm, you can be without power for days, even weeks.

FPL on Thursday, warned a storm as powerful as Irma could bring outages similar to those caused by Frances and Jeanne.

Devon Edwards stopped for last-minute hurricane supplies at MCM Paint and Hardware in Belle Glade.

A retired firefighter, Walker said he feels mostly prepared for Irma.

"You know, prepare for the worst and hope the best happens," said Edwards, who recalled only being without power a few days after Frances and Jeanne.

"At my house, I do have a generator," said Edwards.

And that's a good thing. On Thursday at FPL's warehouse and command center in Riviera Beach, the utility warned Irma could bring power outages of days or weeks.

This, even with FPL's major efforts upgrading its grid over the past decade.

"We have arguably one of the strongest grids in America," said Rob Gould, FPL's chief communications officer.

"But no grid is designed to be able to withstand a Category 5 storm," Gould said.

"If Irma comes on shore and makes a landfall the way we are fearing, we will not be talking just about a restoration," said Gould, "but rather a rebuild of entire infrastructure."

"Well, we hope that's not the case," said Edwards. "But, if that happens, we've got plenty of time to prepare."


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