Coral Gables Fines FPL as Company Works to Restore Power

Florida Power and Light continued to take heat as thousands in South Florida remained without power Tuesday, days after Hurricane Irma knocked it out.

Crews were going street by street in Pinecrest, South Miami and Coral Gables Tuesday. About 98 percent of Miami-Dade has been restored but thousands were still waiting.

The City of Coral Gables has fined FPL $30,000 already for not having the power restored by Sunday night. They’re also threatening to take legal action against them for not being better prepared, and said they want an improved infrastructure, like underground power lines.

On Monday, two firms filed a class-action lawsuit in Miami-Dade circuit court against FPL, claiming the company was not proactive or prepared before Hurricane Irma.

In a statement, FPL called the lawsuits frivolous.

“We understand that it’s extremely frustrating for our customers to be without power,” the statement read. “That said, frivolous lawsuits and ludicrous code violations that attempt to pressure us into providing preferential treatment for their City will not work.”

As for Coral Gables, the power company is blaming what the area is known for – its treescape – for the holdup.

“Our focus is on restoring power to all of our customers, and we will not be moved by self-entitled politicians who are looking for someone to blame for the City’s irresponsibly managed tree program,” FPL’s statement read. “The fact is the city of Coral Gables has for many years resisted FPL’s well-documented efforts to trim trees and harden our electric system. Unfortunately for our customers in that area, they are now paying the price in terms of extended outages due to hundreds of trees that have fallen into our lines.”