More than half the residents of the City of Orlando have had power restored and Orlando Utilities Commission hopes that most customers will have electricity by Friday.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined city crews Tuesday as they assessed damages in neighborhoods.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how the community has come together to weather this storm,” said Dyer during a press conference at the city’s Emergency Operations Center. “I know it’s challenging but just be patient.”

Dyer said city crews will remove storm debris from roadways and public right of ways first before beginning residential debris removal next week.

Debris should be placed at the curb and not in the streets or blocking sidewalks. Items placed in the street can block access for solid waste trucks and clog storm drains.

The city has received 275 reports of structural damage to homes and Dyer asked that residents use the Citizen’s Information Line (407-246-Help) to report damages so they can receive aid from FEMA.

Nearly 300 trees are down and 55 involve power lines. Forty-five percent of trees that blocked roadways have been removed. The mayor said there were 13 trees down on one street in Baldwin Park, which was hit especially hard during Hurricane Irma.

OUC Vice President Roseann Harrington said that 145,000 residents lost power during the storm and 74,000 have had their power restored. Beginning Wednesday, residents can go to OUC.com to check to see when their power will be restored. She added that power will be returned to most residents by 10 p.m. Friday.

“The work is tedious and will be time more time consuming,” said Harrington. “Nobody wants to restore your power as fast has OUC.”

Orlando Police Chief John Mina reported that there has been no criminal activity related to the storm. The city has 181 traffic signals that are not working and Mina urged residents to treat those as four-way stops until they are repaired.

The city’s water reclamation system is working overtime and experiencing high water flow due. Residents should use water only when necessary by limiting use of water from showers, sinks, and dishwashers until the water flows have reduced to a normal level, which is expected in the next few days.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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