FPL replacing poles to meet hurricane standards

Apr 24, 2008

Miami Herald--April 24, 2008


Inviting journalists to a construction site near Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, Florida Power & Light on Thursday showed off its latest efforts to harden its system to protect it from hurricane force winds.

At a section along Flamingo Road, work crews were installing thick concrete poles to replace thinner wooden poles in an effort to meet the new standard of resisting winds up to 150 mph.

In Broward, the utility announced it plans to strengthen power lines around gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals, including Memorial Pembroke, Holy Cross, Northwest Medical Center, Plantation General, North Broward Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center and Florida Medical Center.

In Miami-Dade, FPL workers are strengthening the system around six hospitals: Hialeah, Kendall Regional, Mercy, Miami Children’s, Palm Springs General and Metropolitan.

FPL spokesman Mayco Villafaña said it would take 10 years or more to strengthen the system to meet the new standards. The effort began in early 2006, after seven hurricanes hit FPL’s operating area in a 15-month period.