More than 390,000 households are still without power in Florida after Hurricane Irma slammed huge swaths of the state with powerful winds, rains, and flooding.
Electrical linemen from all over the state and the country have worked day and night for over a week since the hurricane struck. Many of them are missing the comforts of home, but some Florida women are stepping forward to help.
A Facebook post by one Florida woman shows how grateful the locals are for the sacrifices of first responders. She shared a photo of dozens of women waiting to pick up laundry from the power crews.
“See this line? All these ladies waited in line tonight to take loads of linemen’s laundry home,” Jennifer Taylor Koukos wrote in the Facebook post.
“One lineman asked me what those ladies were standing in line for,” she continued. “When I told him they were waiting to be given laundry, with a look of sheer disbelief he said, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’ What a great night.”
Taylor Koukos took the photo at the Sebring International Raceway and posted it on Saturday, Sept. 16.
Florida utilities said on Monday they restored power to about 95 percent of the 7.8 million homes and businesses knocked out by Hurricane Irma, leaving some 391,000 customers still without electricity.
Based on the number of individuals each customer represents, that leaves over 800,000 people sweltering in the Florida heat without air conditioning.
Most of the remaining outages were in Florida Power & Light’s service area in the southern parts of the state. FPL, the state’s biggest electric company, said 239,000 customers had no power, down from more than 3.6 million on Sept. 11.
NextEra Energy Inc’s FPL, which serves nearly 5 million homes and businesses, has said it expects to restore power to essentially all customers in the hard-hit western part of its territory by Sept. 22.
Outages at Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of Florida, fell to about 100,000 from a peak of around 1.3 million on Sept. 11.
In coming days, temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 80’s and low 90’s in Jacksonville and Miami, the two biggest cities in Florida, according to meteorologists at AccuWeather.
Irma hit southwestern Florida on Sept. 10 as a Category 4 hurricane, the second most severe on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. On Sept. 11, when most customers were without power, the storm weakened to a tropical depression.
Reuters contributed to this report.