While acknowledging the public's frustration, utility officials said they are getting power back on faster than they did after Hurricane Wilma hit the state 12 years ago. "I have enough bottled oxygen to last several days. If customers are calling us that they don't have power, we know they don't have power". That spells trouble when about 60 percent of power lines for Florida Power & Light (FPL) - the largest utility in the state - are above ground and in the path of fallen trees. A Fortune 200 company and included in the S&P 100 index, NextEra Energy has been recognized often by third parties for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2017 list of "World's Most Admired Companies".
In the bay area, 319,223 Duke Energy customers in Pinellas and more than 191,000 TECO customers in Hillsborough remained without power as of about 6 p.m. Tuesday. That's down from 1.5 million the day earlier. Since customers includes homes and businesses, these numbers do not reflect the full amount of individuals who lost electricity. Water and sanitation also remain issues, Scott said.
Elaine Duke, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, warned that regaining normalcy could take a long time. "It can get pretty expensive for the affected company", he said.
But those on the west coast of Florida - where Irma made its final landfall - are not likely to have power restored until September 22.
"This is going to take some time to restore", Krebs said.
19,500 workers are responding to outages across the state, according to a release from FPL, which the organization refers to as "the largest restoration workforce in US history".
Power companies from as far away as California and Canada have lent line workers, equipment operators, mechanics, and other support personnel to that army of workers to help utilities whose systems and equipment have been devastated by the storm.
"It makes you count your blessings", she said.
Irma made a second landfall Sunday near Naples on Florida's Gulf Coast with top winds of 110 miles per hour and a reported top gust of 142 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
In Texas, he said, storm victims assisted crews with trucks and machinery.
About 1,500 workers from the Midwest were deployed to Georgia, where they waited for Irma to pass before making their way to Florida to start restoration as quickly as possible, Nissan said.
"We won't rest until every customer has their lights back on", said FPL CEO Eric Silagy on Monday.
Irma flooded streets, toppled trees and power lines and snapped construction cranes. Only eight of Florida's 67 counties don't have outages reported, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. On Monday, when most customers were without power, the storm weakened to a tropical depression.
In Sarasota, Steve and Laura Brady, their daughter Peyton and their two dogs returned from a shelter Monday to find their home largely intact.
"FP&L spokesperson Rob Gould said restoration to almost all customers in the eastern half of the state should be completed by Sunday night", member station WLRN reports.
But as businesses and transportation hubs reopened in some parts of Florida, search and rescue missions were still being conducted in other areas, including the Florida Keys.
"I don't like the dark", his daughter chimed in. "We hoped to come inside and cool off a little bit".
Dennen, the Korean War vet, said he's counting on his small generator and the kindness of neighbors to get by.
Donate clothes, money or food to relief organizations aiding not just local communities but the Caribbean islands that bore a disproportionate amount of Hurricane Irma's devastation.