WASHINGTON (September 12, 2018) – Hurricane Florence remains an extremely dangerous and historic storm that is expected to cause widespread and prolonged power outages in the Carolinas and parts of the Southeast. Investor-owned electric companies, electric cooperatives, and public power utilities in the path of the storm already have mobilized more than 40,000 workers to respond to Hurricane Florence. This includes mutual assistance workers from at least 17 states.
The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and FEMA are coordinating closely to support the ongoing preparation and staging activities, as well as the movement of mutual assistance crews.
“EEI’s member companies in the path of Hurricane Florence have activated their emergency response plans, continue to pre-stage equipment and resources, and have mobilized mutual assistance workers from a number of other states to assist in their storm response,” said Edison Electric Institute President Tom Kuhn. “Mutual assistance is an essential part of the electric power industry’s service restoration process and contingency planning. Strong industry-government coordination and cross-sector collaboration are critical, and we appreciate the ongoing leadership from DOE, DHS, and FEMA in helping to coordinate the industry response with federal, state, and local officials.”
Flooding creates a unique and dangerous power restoration environment. During floods, electric companies work closely with local government and emergency officials to stay informed of the latest conditions and flood risks to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Electric customers in potentially impacted areas are urged to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages.
“Hurricane Florence likely will be a historic event across the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. Electric cooperatives are praying for the best and preparing for the worst,” said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson. “For nearly a week, electric cooperatives have coordinated recovery and mutual assistance plans ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival, and are prepared to respond to extended outages around the clock as soon as weather conditions allow.”
Additional electric companies outside of the storm zone continue to monitor and assess the situation and are standing by to provide assistance.
“As Florence bears down on the eastern seaboard, public power utilities from coast to coast stand ready to respond if called upon,” said American Public Power Association President & CEO Sue Kelly. “Our national mutual aid network has deployed crews to the region and stands ready to provide more assistance to help get the power back on in affected communities as quickly and safely as possible.”
The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide.
The Edison Electric Institute is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for about 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.