About one-fourth of Manatee County is still waiting for power after Hurricane Irma knocked out power for thousands across the county and millions in the state.
As of 7 p.m., 51,307 Manatee County customers were without power.
There were 50,640 Florida Power & Light customers and 667 Peace River Electric Cooperative customers still affected by outages.
That’s 24.5 percent of Manatee County still waiting for power to be restored, a decrease from 37 percent at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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Three Manatee County schools - Florine J. Abel Elementary School, Oneco Elementary School and Myakka City Elementary School - were still without power as of Wednesday morning.
As of about 6 p.m. in Sarasota County, there were 78,460, or 30 percent, still without power, according FPL.
There were still 3,275,258 customers, or 31.2 percent of the state, without power in Florida as of about 6 p.m. Wednesday.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, power was restored to 3.5 million homes and businesses across Florida, according to Gov. Rick Scott.
During an update at the FPL command center Tuesday morning, Rob Gould, vice president and chief communications officer for FPL, said that 20,000 employees had been dispatched to start “day and night” restoration.
Hurricane Irma left 5.5 million of the more than 10 million Florida power customers waiting for the electricity to be turned back on.
FPL estimates it will “essentially” restore power to all its West Coast customers by Sept. 22, according to a news release. As of Wednesday morning, the company announced it had restored power to 60 percent of customers. It’s a clip about four times faster than their response at this same point in time to Hurricane Wilma, officials said.
“We are aggressively restoring power but we are making progress,” Robert Gould, FHP Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, said in Wednesday morning’s press briefing. “We’re encouraged by where we find ourselves in the restoration process.”
FPL reported issues with FPL.com and the FPL Mobile App due to extreme high volume, though they were working to resolve the problem. Customers should call FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) only to report conditions such as downed power lines or sparking electrical equipment.
PRECO officials noted their outage map is working, but experiencing some delays. Their call center, 1-800-282-3824, is also experiencing high call volume, but has opened extended hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Line crews from Texas are Louisiana assisting PRECO with restoration with more crews en route from Oklahoma scheduled to arrive Tuesday, according to a release.
Crews from more than 30 states and Canada worked with FPL, officials said in a Wednesday press conference.
As of Tuesday, Verizon Wireless had close to 90 percent of its facilities in service and more than 40 percent of company-owned stores were open, according to a press release. Residents are invited to come in to stores to charge their devices.
Sprint waived all text and data overage coverages for those impacted by Hurricane Irma. It’s retroactive to Sept. 8 and goes through Friday. Verizon announced a similar waiving of charges last weekend.