EEI: Electric power industry prepares for Hurricane Florence

Electric companies in the path of Hurricane Florence are preparing now for the storm and urge customers to do the same.

Potentially impacted companies are pre-positioning workers and related equipment in the areas most likely to be hardest hit, and additional mutual assistance workers from at least 15 states already are en route to assist.

Customers are urged to prepare now for the possibility of a lengthy restoration effort. If ordered to evacuate, customers should do so immediately.

“Hurricane Florence is an extremely dangerous and historic storm that may cause widespread and prolonged power outages,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surge have the potential to cause extreme damage and dangerous flooding. Electric companies in Florence’s potential path have activated their emergency response plans, and are mobilizing restoration workers, staging equipment, and coordinating preparation and response efforts with federal, state, and local government officials. It is important to remember that power restoration efforts could be slowed by prolonged high winds and dangerous flooding conditions. Safety is our industry’s number one priority, and crews will work around the clock to restore power as conditions allow.”

The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) also is engaged to ensure unity of effort across the highest levels of industry and government. Last night, senior officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined a call with the CEOs of electric companies in the path of Hurricane Florence to discuss the mutual assistance preparation and staging activities underway.

“Strong industry-government coordination is critical. Power restoration is a team mission, and we appreciate the ongoing leadership from DOE, DHS, and FEMA in helping to coordinate the industry response,” said Kuhn.

Companies also will be working closely with local and state environmental officials to monitor their facilities and any threats from rising floodwaters. Electricity customers in the path of the storm are urged to heed all warnings from their local and state officials. Please take extreme caution and watch for downed power lines that may be concealed by floodwaters or storm debris.

EEI’s Storm Center is a resource for real-time information and updates on storm preparation and restoration progress. It also includes a map to company outage centers. Customers can follow EEI on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

EEI and our industry and government partners also are coordinating on Tropical Storms Isaac and Olivia, as well as a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico.

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