In a state built on air conditioning, millions of Florida residents now want to know one thing: When will the power come back on?
Hurricane Irma’s march across Florida and into the Southeast triggered one of the bigger blackouts in U.S. history, plunging as many as 13 million people into the dark as the storm dragged down power lines and blew out transformers. It also shattered the climate-controlled bubbles that enable people to live here despite the state’s heat, humidity and insects.
Those who evacuated ahead of the hurricane are returning to homes without electricity and facing the prospect of days or even weeks with little to ease the late-summer stickiness.
“Power, power, power,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. “The biggest thing we’ve got to do for people is get their power back.”
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