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A failed switch and fire at an electrical substation outside Miami triggered widespread blackouts across Florida on Tuesday, cutting off power for nearly 1 million customers across most of the state, a utility executive said.
About 8,000 locations remained without power early Tuesday evening, Florida Power and Light President Armando Olivera told reporters.
The failure eventually knocked out power to customers north of Miami on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, state and local authorities and utility officials said.
The simple fire triggered more than just snarled traffic and closed out Starbucks.
Olivera said about 475,000 Florida Power and Light customers and about the same number of customers from other utilities lost power as a result. The affected region ranged from Miami to Tampa, throughout Orlando and east to Brevard County, home to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.
The substation trouble set off a sequence of events that within two to three minutes had knocked numerous power plants off-line -- including the Turkey Point nuclear power plant south of Miami. Olivera said Turkey Point's two nuclear reactors and a natural gas-powered generation unit automatically shut down when the plant's systems detected a fluctuation in the power grid.
"In a fraction of a second, the demand was far greater than the power plants that were on line generating electricity could handle," he said. "When you have that kind of imbalance, we have a system that kicks in and it starts turning people's lights off, essentially balancing the demand with what's available."
Mike Stone, a Florida Department of Emergency Management spokesman, said 2 million to 3 million people were affected at the height of the outage.
Detective Robert Williams, a Miami-Dade County police spokesman, said power was out across the entire county within 20 minutes of the initial failure. Outages extended into neighboring Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, and north to Palm Beach County -- a region of about 6 million people.
So two nuclear reactors went into shutdown because of this fire.
If Hillary wanted the Florida delegates so badly, I think there are other things she could have done besides setting fires at substations