Company honored for helping utilities recover after super storms in 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has awarded Oklahoma Gas and Electric an Emergency Assistance Award for its efforts to help utilities across America recover from the effects of three unusually powerful storms in 2012.
This is the company’s fifth Emergency Assistance Award. OG&E was one of only two utilities that received the award for assisting after all three major storms.
“OG&E’s restoration assistance following the Super Derecho, Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy was truly remarkable,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Getting the lights back on quickly and safely following a major storm is never easy.”
In 2012, OG&E crews assisted American Electric Power after a derecho took out power to more than a million customers in Indiana and West Virginia. Crews also assisted central Louisiana residents following Hurricane Isaac. And after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast, OG&E crews used their award-winning restoration skills to restore power for hundreds of thousands of storm victims.
In total, OG&E crews spent 35 days on the road, drove 322,417 miles and worked 34,224 hours during emergency assistance efforts. The company is a member of the Southeast Electric Exchange, which dispatches mutual assistance teams in cases of widespread outages. Utilities in need of additional storm support compensate assisting utilities for the added manpower and typically provide lodging, meals and other services to visiting crews.
“Working through the industry’s mutual assistance program, OG&E’s crews were essential in helping their fellow utility companies restore service in affected neighborhoods,” Kuhn said. “Importantly, OG&E’s assistance also shows their compassion in helping others in their time of need.”
EEI wasn’t alone in recognizing OG&E’s commitment to helping other utilities. After Hurricane Sandy, the residents of Glen Rock, N.J., were so impressed with OG&E crews’ professionalism that Mayor John van Keuren issued a proclamation to change Glen Rock’s name to “Oklahoma G&E” for one day in December.
“We’re honored by the outpouring of thanks from the affected utilities and customers,” said Mike Mathews, OG&E Vice President Power Delivery Operations. “Teaming up to help people in need is something OG&E is proud to do. Our crews restored power after the storms efficiently and safely, without a single injury.”
This award marks the ninth time since 1999 that OG&E has won the highest national distinction for emergency service restoration from EEI – five times for assisting other utilities following major storms and four times for major storms affecting the OG&E system.
OG&E, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), serves nearly 790,000 electric customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies. Its members serve 95 percent of the ultimate customers in the shareholder-owned segment of the industry, and represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry.