RALEIGH, N.C. (April 29, 2011) – About 300 Progress Energy Carolinas employees and contractors are en route to devastated portions of Georgia and Alabama to assist local utilities in restoring power to the hundreds of thousands of customers affected by this week’s deadly tornadoes.
The storms that pummeled Georgia, Alabama and neighboring states this week are blamed for hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure, including power systems. The extensive damage caused by tornadoes can make restoration efforts particularly challenging.
Progress Energy Carolinas released crews after all storms had cleared the Carolinas. The utility currently expects these crews to be deployed for eight to 10 days. They join about 200 employees and contractors from Progress Energy Florida who left for Alabama yesterday. A total of about 500 crew members from across Progress Energy’s service territory have been dispatched to assist in the restoration.
The deployment to Georgia will not affect the company’s ability to respond to outages or service needs within its service areas. The company is maintaining crews in all parts of Progress Energy’s service areas and can recall crews as needed if a major storm threatens the Carolinas. The crews supporting other utilities’ restoration efforts are paid by the utility requesting the service. Progress Energy customers in the Carolinas will not pay any of the cost of the assistance.
Progress Energy Carolinas is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE), a group of investor-owned electric utility companies in the region that support each other, as needed, following major storms. Progress Energy has sent crews to storm-damaged areas many times, including large-scale repair damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, in support of a devastating ice storm in Oklahoma in December 2007 and following Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Progress Energy and its customers also benefited from the company’s SEE membership after major storms, when crews from other southeastern utilities came to North Carolina to assist after severe storms, including after the April 16 severe storms and tornadoes that knocked out power to nearly 340,000 Progress Energy customers.
For more information on Progress Energy’s storm response efforts, visit www.progress-energy.com/storms.
About Progress Energy
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com.