Entergy earns 11th straight Edison Electric Institute Award for storm response
BATON ROUGE – Entergy Corporation accepted two national awards March 11, for its work restoring power after hurricanes Gustav and Ike and for helping two utilities recover from severe weather. It is the 11th consecutive year Entergy has received storm response awards from the Edison Electric Institute.
Entergy received an EEI Emergency Recovery Award after crews restored power to more than 1.6 million customers following Gustav and Ike, which struck Entergy’s service territories in Louisiana and Texas less than two weeks apart in September 2008. The two storms devastated electrical service in Louisiana, causing 721,000 customers to lose power after Gustav, followed by another 116,000 who lost power after Ike.
In Louisiana, Entergy’s utility companies set a record for the fastest and safest storm restoration efforts in the company’s 95-year history. Nearly 100 percent of upper Jefferson Parish was completely restored within five days of Gustav’s landfall, while nearly 80 percent of the Baton Rouge area – one of the hardest-hit areas – was restored within eight days. By comparison, it took 13 days to reach that level for Hurricane Rita and 16 days following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, excluding extended restoration customers.
From an equipment standpoint, Gustav alone damaged more than 53,000 circuit lines, 10,000 utility poles and 4,000 transformers across the state.
Entergy also received EEI’s Emergency Assistance Award for helping Public Service of Oklahoma following a December 2007 ice storm and AEP Texas after Hurricane Dolly in July 2008.
Entergy is the only company to be honored every year since the EEI Emergency Response Awards were first presented in 1998. Entergy has now won four awards for its efforts restoring power to its own customers and nine awards for assisting other utilities repair their systems.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive awards 11 years in a row. I think it shows our employees are known throughout the industry for their outstanding preparation and dedication to getting the job done safely and quickly,” said Renae Conley, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. “Their focus on safety allowed us to rebuild significant sections of our system within days, despite the challenges presented by back-to-back hurricanes.”
Gustav made landfall Sept. 1, 2008, and knocked out power to customers in three of the four states served by Entergy utilities. Ike struck the Louisiana and Texas coasts Sept. 13, 2008, leaving 99 percent of Entergy Texas Inc. customers without power.
Entergy also received an EEI Emergency Assistance Award for sending crews to help Public Service of Oklahoma respond to an ice storm that hit the Tulsa area in December 2007 and AEP-Texas recover from Hurricane Dolly.
“Utility crews from states across the country respond when a disaster such as a hurricane hits our service territories,” Conley said. “It’s only right that we respond in kind and help our neighboring utilities get the lights on as quickly as possible.”
EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn said, “Entergy’s system had significant damage from the back-to-back hurricanes, with direct hits upon each landfall, yet the company, as usual, fought hard to get customers’ power back on through all of that adversity. Entergy proved its helpfulness to other utilities as well – again, an Entergy tradition. Year in and year out, the company has provided one great example of the determination electric utilities have after natural disasters.”
Entergy’s Louisiana utility companies serve more than one million customers through the operating companies Entergy Louisiana L.L.C. and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana L.L.C. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are part of Entergy Corporation’s electric system serving 2.7 million customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.