Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s western shores with intensity and wind speeds similar to those packed by Hurricane Ida when it slammed into Louisiana last year. Also like Ida, Ian clobbered the state’s utilities, knocking out power to a swath of customers as it moved across the state, our media partners at The Advocate/Times Picayune report.
But Florida has spent years hardening its electric grid, investing billions into stronger poles, buried power lines and elevated substations. And while Ian had catastrophic effects, Florida’s grid stood up much better than Louisiana’s did last year, the newspapers report.
At its peak, Ian, which made landfall in a county with nearly twice as many people as Louisiana’s most populous parish, knocked out power to 2.7 million customers in Florida, representing 24% of the state. At Ida’s peak, just over 1 million customers were without power, representing 47% of Louisiana’s homes and businesses, the newspapers report.
According to the newspapers, by the fourth day after landfall for each storm, Florida had fewer customers out of power than Louisiana had at the same point after Ida, even though Florida started with nearly three times as many, records show.
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