Last week, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) announced its Emergency Response Awards recognizing electric utilities that go the extra mile to restore service after storms and other natural disasters.
The Emergency Assistance Award recognizes Edison Electric Institute member companies that respond to other companies’ power restoration efforts while the Emergency Recovery Award recognizes directly impacted companies who show outstanding power restoration efforts for their customers.
Georgia Power received the Emergency Recovery Award for their extraordinary response to Hurricane Irma, one of the most destructive storms in Georgia Power’s history. The storm interrupted service to nearly one million customers. With more than 8,000 personnel involved in restoration efforts, Georgia Power restored power to impacted customers well ahead of schedule.
“The tireless work by Georgia Power crews during Hurricane Irma exemplifies our industry’s commitment to customer service,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.
For the second time in three years, Gulf Power earned the Emergency Assistance Award for the company’s efforts restoring power after Hurricane Irma last year. More than 4 million people lost power due to Irma. Gulf Power sent a team of about 100 employees to assist Georgia Power after the storm rolled through Georgia in September. At the same time, a 25-person storm team traveled to Florida to assist Tampa Electric.
“The work our crews did following Hurricane Irma was fantastic and this award is a testament to the lineworkers, team leaders, engineers and all the support staff,” said Stan Connally, Gulf Power chairman, president and CEO.
Alabama Power received both the EEI Recovery Award and the Assistance Award for quickly restoring service to Alabama customers after Hurricane Nate and coming to the aid of peer utilities following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. A team of 25 specially trained employees was dispatched to Houston in late August to assist with Harvey. Only days after returning to Alabama, employees were again called on to assist neighboring utilities in the wake of Hurricane Irma along with restoring service to 71,000 of their own customers.
“This is a great honor for the Alabama Power family; the skill, teamwork and commitment we strive for every day were on full display in our response to these massive storms,” said CEO Mark Crosswhite.
Mississippi Power also received EEI’s Assistance Award for sending nearly 100 employees to Macon and Valdosta to assist Georgia Power in mid-September during Hurricane Irma. Their team included 72 line personnel and 22 support personnel, travelling with more than 60 vehicles. They spent more than a week in south Georgia and received a visit from Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson.
In late October, Mississippi Power also sent a 90-person team who travelled 3,000 miles roundtrip to provide assistance to National Grid in Rhode Island after a powerful storm moved through the northeast and knocked out power to more than 1.5 million customers. “We never know where Mother Nature will make an impact, but we are proud to be part of an industry that answers the call and supports each other when assistance is needed,” Vice President of Customer Services Organization Nicole Faulk said.