Rancho Mirage, CA (January 13) In recognition of its exemplary efforts to respond to some of the worst local storms on record, Carolina Power & Light today was named a winner of the Edison Electric Institute's Emergency Response Award. This marks the second year this award has been given and the second time CP&L has won. CP&L is among six utilities named as winners of the award given annually by EEI, which is the association of shareholder-owned electric utilities that deliver about three-fourths of the nation's electric power.
EEI's Emergency Response Award recognizes companies that demonstrate outstanding efforts to restore service to customers in the wake of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Floyd, which battered CP&L's service territory during last fall.
"Carolina Power & Light's performance under dire natural circumstances is a model for electric utilities everywhere," said Thomas R. Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute. "They are to be congratulated for their sterling response on behalf of their customers."
CP&L was honored for its response to the effects of Hurricane Floyd, September 16-20, 1999, a storm described as North Carolina's worst ever. The hurricane took 49 lives, and left thousands homeless and 537,000 CP&L customers without power. The company had outages in 90 percent of its service territory and affected more than 30,000 miles of power line to Hurricane Floyd's winds and record flooding. Despite dangerous conditions, in just 48 hours, CP&L restored power to 80 percent of customers without electricity. All customers capable of receiving power were back on in four days.
The company faced unusual and nearly overwhelming challenges. For example, CP&L had to devise new ways of working in flooded areas. Many repairs were made by boat, and tracked vehicles helped linemen access swampy areas. Crews often faced extraordinary safety challenges, working in waters contaminated by gasoline, oil, animal waste and remains, fertilizer, and other chemicals.
The company also launched a major fundraising effort with the Red Cross, raising more $1.5 million for flood victim assistance.
Other winners of EEI's Emergency Response Awards are Duke Power, Charlotte, NC; Florida Power & Light Company (FP&L), Juno Beach, FL; OGE Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, OK; Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Washington, DC; and Virginia Power, Richmond, VA.
Edison Electric Institute also honored the following companies with Emergency Assistance Awards, which recognize companies that swiftly and vigorously provide aid to electric utility recovery efforts outside their own service territories: Alabama Power Company, Birmingham, AL; Allegheny Power, Hagerstown, MD; AmerenCIPS, Springfield, IL; American Electric Power (AEP), Columbus, Ohio; and Entergy Corporation, New Orleans, LA.
Edison Electric Institute is the association of shareholder-owned electric utilities, international affiliates and associate members, whose domestic members deliver about three-quarters of the nation's electricity.