Hurricane Irma: When power goes out, who gets it back first?

Sandbags may help prevent flooding, but they won't keep the power on for Kissimmee resident Felicia Smith.

“I'm very worried cause if it goes out. It can be out for days,” she said. “My main concern is for my son, who's on kidney dialysis. He does dialysis at home so if we lose power, he's in trouble.”

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With Hurricane Irma approaching, Kissimmee Utility Authority and the Orlando Utilities Commission said the first places to get restored are generally emergency facilities and elderly services.

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“Hospitals, healthcare, police stations, fire stations, critical services, stuff like that,” said KUA spokesperson Chris Gent.

Duke Energy said its crews also put a priority on safety hazards, like power lines down on the road.

Florida Power & Light said its linemen will begin repairs immediately, as long as it's safe, but warned that many customers will experience power outages.

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After critical services, KUA and OUC said they focus on big neighborhoods.

“We work toward restoring the largest number of customers as quickly as we can,” Gent said.

That means people in rural areas could have to wait the longest, depending on the scope of the damage.

“We are on the emergency list with KUA but I'm sure there's a lot of people on that list,” said Smith.

Smith and her son are hoping to ride out the storm at home, but may have to leave if the lights stay out.

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