Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Southeast utilities said on Friday they restored power to almost 80 percent of the 7.8 million homes and businesses knocked out by Hurricane Irma, leaving nearly 1.7 million of those customers still without electricity. Based on the number of individuals each customer represents, that, however, still leaves about 3.5 million people sweltering in the Florida and Georgia heat without air conditioning. Most of the remaining outages were in Florida Power & Light's service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state. FPL, the state's biggest electric company, said about 1 million customers had no power, down from more than 3.6 million on Monday. NextEra Energy Inc's FPL, which serves nearly 5 million homes and businesses, said it expects to restore power to essentially all customers in the eastern portion of Florida by the end of the weekend and the harder-hit western part of the state by Sept. 22. Outages at Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of Florida, fell below 300,000 from a peak of around 1.3 million on Monday. Duke said it expects to restore service to most of its customers by midnight Sept. 17. In coming days, temperatures are forecast to reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in Miami, the high 80s F (low 30s C) in Jacksonville and the mid-80s F (around 30 C) in Atlanta, according to meteorologists at AccuWeather. Irma hit southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, the second most severe on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. On Monday, when most customers were without power, the storm weakened to a tropical depression. In Georgia, utilities reported outages fell below 90,000 from a peak of around 1.3 million on Monday. Other big power utilities in Florida are units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the largest electric company in Georgia.
The following lists major outages according to the utilities' websites:
Power Company State Out Now Served NextEra - FPL FL 1,031,400 4,904,000 Duke - Florida FL 294,000 1,800,000 Lee County Electric FL 61,000 200,000 Southern - Georgia Power GA 51,500 2,482,000 Emera - Tampa Electric FL 40,900 425,000 Georgia EMCs GA 35,000 JEA FL 32,100 455,000 Clay Electric FL 30,300 173,000 SECO FL 20,600 200,600 Keys Energy Services FL 19,300 29,000 Glades Electric FL 13,200 16,000 Orlando Utilities Commission FL 11,400 234,700 Florida Keys Electric FL 11,300 33,000 Withlacoochee River Electric FL 10,000 217,000 Peace River Electric FL 6,900 40,000 Suwanee Valley Electric FL 5,300 25,600 Central Florida Electric FL 3,100 35,600 Duke - South Carolina NC, SC 3,000 740,000 Gainesville Regional Utilities FL 2,900 93,000 Total Out 1,683,200
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by W Simon)