FE Honored for Power Restoration Efforts
January 15, 2021
For the 15th consecutive year, FirstEnergy has earned recognition for its emergency response efforts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). The company received the “Emergency Recovery Award” for safely and efficiently restoring service to more than 800,000 of its New Jersey and Pennsylvania customers following Tropical Storm Isaias and the “Emergency Assistance Award” for helping Entergy with restoration efforts in Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Laura, both of which occurred in August 2020.
“When severe weather impacts our customers, we have well developed storm restoration plans that are quickly implemented to reduce their outage time and keep them safe,” said Sam Belcher, senior vice president, FirstEnergy, and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. “This award recognizes the efforts of our crews in the field who worked safely around the clock in difficult, and sometimes hazardous, conditions to help our customers and the customers of our partner utilities.”
On Aug. 4, Tropical Storm Isaias passed swiftly through New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, dumping up to seven inches of rain and battering the region with wind gusts exceeding 65 mph. A massive restoration effort was launched that ultimately included more than 9,000 line workers, hazard responders, damage assessors and other support staff from FirstEnergy companies, contractors and assisting utilities. Repairs included replacing more than 700 utility poles, 600 transformers and other equipment, and approximately 71 miles of wire. The joint effort restored service to 85% of affected customers within three days of the start of the storm, with more than 99% of customers restored by Aug. 10.
On the evening of Aug. 26, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Texas and Louisiana. The Category 4 hurricane brought extreme winds, storm surge and flash flooding along the northwest Gulf Coast. More than 500 line workers, forestry crews and support personnel from eight of our utility companies were deployed to the most damaged areas to support service restoration for Entergy. Of note, Entergy had responded to FirstEnergy’s call for mutual assistance for Tropical Storm Isaias just weeks earlier.
EEI presents awards twice annually to member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by weather conditions and other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges following an international nomination process. The awards were presented Jan. 14, during the winter EEI Board of Directors and CEO meeting.