DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL-Fox35) - At the staging area near the Daytona Speedway, FPL's work crews are coming to refuel their trucks and get ready to go back out and help restore power to Volusia County. The county is slowly getting back on its feet after Hurricane Matthew. FPL's CEO, Eric Silagy, says they're working hard to get the power back on. By this afternoon, about 30 percent of county customers had electricity restored.
"This is a big operation. 15,000 people have been deployed throughout our system. This is the largest deployment in advance of a storm that we've ever done," Silagy said.
Crews were out clearing branches and repairing equipment. "You need power?" asks Cecil Van Horn, Senior Line Specialist, "we pick the poles up, we pick the wire up. We restore power and you become happy."
Turning on the lights and A/C back on for women like Kim Murrell, who was out cleaning up her Daytona Beach street. "My family, everybody's all right," Murrell says with a relieved sigh, "lightning hit the house, we have a lot of trees down and debris all the way around the house. But we didn't lose nothing, and not too much damage."
Further out on Daytona Beach, the outage didn't keep folks from stopping by the discount liquor store, where everything was cash-only because they didn't have power. "We've been out here since 8 o'clock this morning. We'll stay open till dark. Then we'll close down, and do the same thing tomorrow, if we have to," says James Fleischauer, who works at the store.
But other business owners weren't so lucky. The wind blew in yesterday morning and took the canopy off a Daytona Beach gas station. The owner says it's probably more than a hundred thousand dollars worth of damage.
"I feel bad," admits Sharif Bedros, who owns the gas station and convenience store, "it's a lot of damage. I've never seen something like that in my life."
The convenience store weathered the storm, but the pumps are a total loss. Bedros says he just hopes his insurance will cover it. "We'll see what insurance is going to do for us, to help us. And after that we'll see," he says.
The sooner his power comes back on, the sooner he can at least open his store back up. FPL officials say they hope to restore electricity to everyone in Volusia County by tomorrow night.