FPL throws some shade on a city’s threat to sue over Irma power outage

1 Fort Lauderdale

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FPL has accepted with being South Florida’s favorite corporate whipping boy since Hurricane Irma outer winds knocked out power to most of Miami-Dade and Broward for several days.

READ MORE: Lawsuit seeks money for FPL customers left in dark.

But when the Coral Gables’ city attorney started talking about a lawsuit over the power outage length, the government-sanctioned monopoly called out the municipality with a reputation for beautiful homes, strait-jacketing zoning rules and a little bit of an attitude.

“We understand that it’s extremely frustrating for our customers to be without power,” read the FPL statement. “That said, frivolous lawsuits and ludicrous code violations that attempt to pressure us into providing preferential treatment for their City will not work. 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 argued last week that places such as Coral Gables and Pinecrest let their trees get a little too big for coexistence with power lines. The utility stayed with that.

“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,” the statement continued. “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.”

And FPL said this before law firms based in Coral Gables and Kendall filed lawsuits claiming FPL didn’t prune trees or move lines underground after charging customers for it.


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