On the left is light emitted from Florida before Hurricane Irma (the night of May 11). On the right is what the VIIRS instrument saw around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.
About 6.1 million customers (accounts) in Florida were without power on Monday afternoon, according to the Department of Energy. Translating that number to the actual number of people affected can be difficult. The energy companies directly track the number of meters that are “offline,” but that doesn’t say anything about how many people are impacted by that particular outage.
A Duke Energy spokeswoman said, per the latest Florida census data, a factor of 2.5 is a good estimate. In other words, for every account without power, 2.5 people are affected. Using that approximation, around 15.25 million people were without power in the state on Monday.
“We’ve never had that many outages. I don’t think any utility in the country has,” Eric Silagy, president and chief executive of Florida Power and Light — the state’s largest electric utility — told The Washington Post.