Hurricane Irma Could Leave 3.4 Million Floridians Without Power

The St. Lucie nuclear power plant is being closed ahead of Hurricane Irma

"This is really only the beginning", Bryan Garner with Florida Power and LIght told Fox 4.

FPL has pre-staged approximately 16,000 people at the Daytona International Speedway awaiting the all clear to deploy and assist.

"FPL has built the most sophisticated and strongest power grid in the nation".

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

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"Everyone in Florida will be impacted in some way by this storm", FPL chief executive Eric Silagy said on Friday at a news conference.

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.

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

"This storm has the potential to eclipse Hurricane Andrew", Gould said. Both are on Florida's Atlantic Coast, which is bracing to get hit very hard by Irma's ferocious winds.

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Irma is a potentially catastrophic, Category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 185 miles per hour.

Florida Power & Light (FPL), the biggest power company in Florida said on its website it had over 565,000 customers without power Sunday morning.

"We think this could be the most challenging restoration in the history of the USA", he said.

The NRC inspectors are verifying that all of the preparations have been completed, and the plants' emergency diesel generators are available to be used if the storm affects off-site power supplies, the agency said in a statement.

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Gould said the nuclear sites are among the strongest in the United States and are created to withstand heavy wind and storm surge.

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