The City of Coral Gables and the FPL

The mayor and city commissioners of the City of Coral Gables questioned from the start the preparation and response of the FPL in reactivating the cities’ electric power system, which was disproportionately hit by a relatively intensive  tropical storm (out of Hurricane Irma) on September 9 and 10.  The municipality of Coral Gables was hit  by the large number of fallen trees, broken trunks and branches and the subsequent loss of electric power, telephone, cable services throughout the city, with some sections more than the others.

The City of Coral Gables leadership states that the reason for the larger impact of the storm on the cities’ trees and the electric power outages was that the FPL electric system was deficient and that the power company had not done enough to construct and manage a more resistant system.  Also, FPL failed to follow up to protect the system consistently from prior years hurricanes that had smaller impacts but were stronger hurricanes and tropical storms.  Based on this writers personal observation the effect of the IRMA tropical storm was equivalent or greater that previous hurricanes.

To this date the city still shows a lot of fallen trees and branches.



About Stephen E. McGaughey
Resident of the City of Coral Gables

3 Responses to The City of Coral Gables and the FPL

  1. Robert Burr says:

    There is pressure by residents to do something, and it could just be posturing. There is plenty of blame to go around for not keeping trees trimmed — the city, the residents, the power company. In the end, positive forward movement is the answer, spending money on real solutions and making significant progress, not wasting the money on lawyers.

  2. Stephen E. McGaughey says:

    Agree mostly that the City and FPL could both have been doing more tree trimming. I see a problem. If FEMA picks up some or a lot of the costs of cleaning up after a storm there may be little incentive for the City and FPL to spend on preparing for the storms.

  3. Robert Burr says:

    As always, follow the money. But the wrath of voters is real and elected commissioners are getting an earful. They rarely blame themselves and their administrators. FPL want to put bigger better poles and they fight it. The city must budget more for preventative trimming and do it consistently. Bury the main lines. Cite property owners that don’t trim their own trees near transmission lines. We need to see a laundry list of positive reforms in the budget. Review how these improvements help in the next storm to justify the expense. No quick fix. Long term improvements.

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