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Almost a million Tampa Bay residents still without power after Irma

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Irma to Test Florida Utility's $3 Billion of Power-Grid Upgrades

Matthew did not come on shore and damage infrastructure, and it took the utility about two days to restore power.

Irma, categorized as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record when it rampaged through the Caribbean, has killed at least 77 people, including 36 in the United States, officials said.

Most outages were still in FPL's service area in the southern and eastern parts of Florida.

The total number of customers, representing about 12 million people, dipped from a peak of more than 7.4 million customers, or about 15 million people, late on Monday.

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Irma hit southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a risky Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. Emera's Tampa Electric utility said the storm could affect up to 500,000 of the 730,000 homes and businesses it serves. A unit of NextEra Energy Inc and the state's biggest power company, FPL said its outages held at around 3.6 million for much of Monday morning. Locations without power have been flagged to the state to help utilities prioritize their work, the group said in a statement. It gradually weakened to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression on Monday.

FPL made a decision to shut only one of the two reactors at its Turkey Point nuclear plant on Saturday because the storm track shifted, and plans to leave both reactors at the St. Lucie plant in service because hurricane force winds are no longer expected to hit the sites.

In Georgia, utilities reported over 1.1 million customers without power Tuesday, down from a peak of around 1.3 million on Monday night. Both reactors at its Turkey Point facility, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Miami, remained shut early Tuesday, while both reactors at its St. Lucie plant, about 120 miles (190 km) north of Miami, were operating at full power.

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