More than 7.1 million customers were without power across Florida and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina as a result of Hurricane Irma. As the storm moved through the region, companies were able to address more than 1.25 million outages, due largely to recent investments in energy grid technology and automation.
“This is likely to be one of the largest and most complex power restoration efforts in U.S. history,” said Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn. “An army of more than 50,000 workers from across the United States and Canada is now dedicated to supporting the industry’s Irma restoration efforts. This includes workers from affected companies, as well as mutual assistance crews, contractors, and other support personnel. Mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry and serves as an effective—and critical—restoration resource for electric companies.”
Responding to major events like Irma requires significant coordination among the public and private sectors, and strong industry-government coordination is critical. As with Hurricane Harvey, EEI and the electric power industry are working through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) to coordinate with the federal government, other segments of the industry, and critical infrastructure operators.
Ensuring the safety of customers, communities, and workers is the electric power industry’s highest priority. As always, customers should stay away from downed power lines and always treat fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized. Customers using generators should plug appliances directly into the generator and follow all safety warnings.