(Reuters) - Power outages from Hurricane Irma dropped to about 5.8 million customers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama by Tuesday afternoon, down from a peak of over 7.4 million late Monday, according to utilities in the affected region.
Most remaining outages were in Florida Power & Light's service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state. FPL, a unit of NextEra Energy Inc and the state's largest power company, said its total outages dipped to about 2.5 million customers by Tuesday evening from a peak of over 3.6 million early on Monday.
FPL said it expects to restore essentially all of its customers in the eastern portion of the state by the weekend and the harder-hit western portion Florida by Sept. 22. The company warned, however, it would take longer to restore power to customers who suffered tornado damage or severe flooding.
Outages in Florida for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, fell to around 1 million customers by Tuesday afternoon, down from a peak of about 1.2 million on Monday, according to the company's website.
Irma hit southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a dangerous Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-notch Saffir-Simpson scale. It gradually weakened to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression on Monday.
In Georgia, utilities reported over 1.1 million customers without power on Tuesday, down from a peak of around 1.3 million late Monday.
Other big power utilities in Florida include units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the biggest electric companies in Georgia and Alabama.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Frances Kerry, Jonathan Oatis and G Crosse)