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At least 46,000 without power in Northeast Florida

A meeting takes place in the JEA Emergency Operations Center.
A meeting takes place inside the JEA Emergency Operations Center.

At least 46,000 customers were without power Thursday evening after Ian crossed Florida.

That included some 7,000 JEA customers. At least 21,000 customers of Clay County Electric also were without power across Northeast Florida.

Florida Power & Light Co. reported 18,000 without power in St. Johns County and 450 in Nassau County.

As of midday Thursday, wind speeds were still too high in some coastal areas to send in JEA crews, said JEA CEO Jay Stowe. JEA will send in crews only if wind speeds are less than 30 mph.

Power at North Beach, Mayport and Little Talbot Island could take longer to flip back on, Stowe said.

JEA Restores Power during Ian.MOV

"So far, we've been able to respond really well," Stowe said. "The outages started occurring early afternoon yesterday. We've gone almost 24 hours safely restoring power. The peak this morning was about 22,000 people that were without power."

Residents can expect heavy, flooding rainfall for the remainder of the afternoon, mainly along and east of the St. Johns River Basin. Tropical-storm-force gusts are expected along the coast.

Statewide, 2.6 million customers are without power as Tropical Storm Ian moves across the state. That includes almost the entire counties of Lee and Charlotte in Southwest Florida, where Ian came ashore Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

The power outage there could continue for some time. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that restoring power to those areas would require rebuilding the system, not just reconnecting lines.

Claire joined WJCT as a reporter in August 2021. She was previously the local host of NPR's Morning Edition at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926 or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.