Saturday, May 21, 2005

FPL says it's ready for hurricane season

Source: Palm Beach Post

JUNO BEACH — In its first shareholders meeting since last year's four hurricanes, FPL Group Inc. said Friday it's prepared for another tumultuous season.

The parent of the Florida Power & Light Co. utility has no other choice, Chairman and Chief Executive Lew Hay said, with forecasters predicting years of increased storm threats.

"Three hurricanes directly struck our service territory," he said. "Our company spent two full months on hurricane duty. It was unprecedented in the history of our company.

"If it happens again, we'll be ready."

A few of the 100 or so shareholders in attendance complimented the company on its quick response to restoring power following the hurricanes.

But Hay acknowledged that Juno Beach-based FPL (NYSE: FPL $40.43) can do even better and said the company intends to provide more timely and localized information to customers about when their power will be restored following a storm.

The state Public Service Commission is expected to rule July 5 on FPL's request for an average monthly storm surcharge of $2.09 for three years to recover a $533 million deficit caused by the hurricanes.

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