EEI Honors Wind Storm Response

Sam Belcher (l.) receives the Emergency Recovery Award from EEI President Tom Kuhn.

June 12, 2019

Restoring service to more than a million customers after a multi-day wind storm in late February has earned FirstEnergy the Emergency Response Award from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

“This EEI award recognizes the outstanding efforts of our crews and support personnel, who work around the clock in difficult circumstances to restore power when severe weather impacts our service area,” said Sam Belcher, senior vice president and FirstEnergy Utilities (FEU) president. “I’m very proud of our crews, who completed repairs safely and efficiently despite extra challenges created by the sustained high winds that caused so much damage over a period of days across our service area.”

The storm battered our service territory – from Ohio to New Jersey – with winds reaching 70 miles per hour. The entire region experienced sustained 40-mph winds for a 12-hour period. In addition to causing significant damage to our electrical system, the high winds delayed restoration efforts because crews were unable to safely work to repair overhead lines in the blustery conditions.

FEU service personnel spearheaded the repair work, which included replacing more than 127 miles of wire, over 1,100 utility poles and nearly 800 transformers. Supporting the restoration efforts were thousands of mutual assistance workers form 18 states. Despite the challenges, storm team members restored power to 95% of affected customers in less than four days.

FirstEnergy’s emergency response efforts have received EEI recognition for 13 years in a row. The industry association presents awards twice annually to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by weather conditions and other natural events.