(Reuters) – Almost 6.9 million homes and businesses were still without power in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama after Hurricane Irma, according to state officials and utilities on Tuesday.
Most outages were in Florida Power & Light’s service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state. A unit of NextEra Energy Inc and the state’s biggest power company, FPL said its outages dipped below 2.9 million by Tuesday morning from a peak of over 3.6 million Monday morning.
Florida outages for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, held around 1.2 million, according to the company’s website, and Duke’s outages in North and South Carolina ballooned to about 160,000.
As the storm weakened while moving north, outages have started to decline for other Florida utilities, while increasing in Georgia, North and South Carolina and Alabama. By Tuesday, morning, however, outages were decreasing in all areas.
Irma hit southwest Florida on Sunday morning as a dangerous Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. It gradually weakened to a tropical storm on Monday and a post tropical cyclone near the Alabama-Georgia border by Tuesday morning. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 6 a.m. EDT (1000 GMT) it would not issue any more advisories on Irma.
In Georgia, utilities reported over 1.2 million customers without power Tuesday morning. That was down from a peak over 1.4 on Monday night.
Other big power utilities in Florida are units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the biggest electric companies in Georgia and Alabama.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Frances Kerry)