(Releads, adds quotes and hurricane track and wind speeds)
Oct 6 NextEra Energy Inc's FPL power
company in Florida on Thursday more than doubled its forecast of
power outages from Hurricane Matthew to as many as 2.5 million
homes and businesses.
FPL said the storm already had knocked out power to about
25,600 homes and businesses, with about 12,900 still without
service. On Wednesday, it predicted outages could reach 1.2
million of its almost 4.9 million customers.
"Some areas of our service territory may experience extended
and repeated outages, while others may require a total rebuild
of our energy infrastructure," Eric Silagy, president and CEO of
FPL, said in a statement on Thursday.
Matthew was likely to remain a Category 4 storm on the
five-step Saffir-Simpson scale as it approached the United
States, where it could either take direct aim at Florida or
brush along the state's coast through Friday night, the U.S.
National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, warning of "potentially
The company said it has a workforce of more than 15,000
ready to respond to the storm, including FPL employees and
workers from other utilities and electrical contracting
"As long as it's safe, our crews will be out in force
restoring power as the first bands of severe weather hit, and
we'll work continuously after the storm clears until all
customers have power again," FPL's Silagy said.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and