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After a severe thunderstorm barreled through Southwest Florida on Wednesday night leaving many in the dark, nearly all customers who were without power had their electricity restored this morning.
The storm, packing 60 mph winds and heavy rain, came through the Naples area about 7:30 p.m., downing power lines and leaving nearly 31,000 Florida Power & Light customers without power.
By 7:30 this morning, FPL reported 93 customers without power after crews worked through the night to restore power throughout Naples, said FPL spokesman Maycho Villafana.
"It was a very strong storm that went through the Naples area," Villafana said. "We had wires down and some of our feeders were roughed by the trees."
When the lines sense a problem it will shut down for safety reasons, Villafana explained. Throughout the night, FPL workers reviewed lines to ensure there were no other problems and re-energized the feeders to restore power. FPL brought out extra crews to work on the outages and restored power for a majority of customers between two and four hours, he said.
About 90 percent of the power outages were concentrated in the Naples area, Villafana said.
"We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience," he said. "In Florida, we will have these severe storms in the summer time. We're preparing for them."
Collier County’s growth management division dispatched a six-man clean-up crew as soon as the storm let up and the crew worked until about 5 a.m. clearing roads and removing downed trees, said Nick Cassalanguida, Collier County’s deputy growth management administrator.
The majority of roads were clear by this morning, and Cassalanguida said crews were out again this morning working on the cosmetic aspect of the clean-up process.
In addition to road cleanup, several signals throughout Collier County either went dark or went into flash mode after the storm, said Connie Deane, Collier County’s road management spokeswoman.
Some lights were hooked to generators and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office placed temporary stop signs to assist with traffic until power was restored to the lights around 9:45 this morning, Deane said.
“Road management has equipment around the county to assist in clearing the roads,” she said. “Something like this is just an early test of what might be needed for hurricane season.”
NBC2 reported that severe thunderstorms flipped cars and knocked over trees and power lines Wednesday evening, leaving people in the dark in Collier County. In East Naples, wind whipped through yards and tore down trees, the TV station reported.