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The loss of power to homes on both the north and south sides of the West Island, the 1000 block of 95th & 96th Streets, portions of Surfside and Indian Creek (approximately 649 residences in total) was not caused by a blown transformer, as initially believed. The power outage was caused by two palm fronds from a residential property falling across two high-tension wires causing a short.
When FPL arrived, they first checked the transformer. Finding it to be in good working order, they checked the power lines and found the palm fronds. FPL removed the palm fronds and power was able to be restored. The scenario was the same on the evening of February 19th - palm fronds on power lines.
Thankfully, the lines were not damaged and FPL was able to restore power in a short period of time, but this is truly a cautionary tale on the importance of trimming one's trees ALL YEAR LONG, not just during hurricane season - and not just palm trees.
So please, be a good neighbor; take a look around your property and if you have trees growing near power lines, see that they are trimmed back, without delay. Don't leave your neighbors in the dark. Trees and powerlines simply don't mix.
FPL encourages customers to maintain their trees before they interfere with electric lines and equipment. You should never attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near overhead power lines yourself, though. Only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines. Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified to trim vegetation around power lines. Before work begins, be sure to verify that the contractor is licensed and insured, and complies with all applicable laws, codes, ordinances and/or permits.
For more information on tree trimming and powerlines, visit https://www.fpl.com/reliability/trees/faq.html.