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FirstEnergy Receives Industry Recognition for Outage Restoration Efforts

June 16, 2021
Utility recognized for recovery efforts during November 2020 windstorms.

FirstEnergy Corp. has once again earned recognition for its emergency response efforts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an electric industry organization. FirstEnergy earned the Emergency Recovery Award for safely and efficiently restoring service to more than 371,000 of its customers following powerful winds that caused widespread damage throughout its service territory in November 2020.

"When severe weather impacts our customers, we have well-developed storm restoration plans that are quickly implemented to reduce their outage time and keep them safe," said Sam Belcher, senior vice president of FirstEnergy and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "This award recognizes the efforts of our crews in the field who worked safely around the clock in difficult, and sometimes hazardous, conditions to help our customers."

Beginning early on Nov. 15, powerful winds between 45 mph to 55 mph and gusting up to more than 65 mph impacted Ohio and moved eastward across FirstEnergy's service territory throughout the day, bringing down tree limbs and causing widespread damage to FirstEnergy's utility poles and equipment. The heavy winds caused thousands of instances of downed wires, more than 800 broken poles and crossarms, and damaged nearly 500 transformers because of trees and other debris contacting the company's electrical equipment.

"Many EEI member companies experienced historic storms and other significant weather-related events in recent months that left customers without power," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "Crews worked around the clock and often in the most dangerous of conditions to assess damage and to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. They did all of this during a global pandemic."

The EEI presents awards twice annually to member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by weather conditions and other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges following an international nomination process. The awards were presented June 8, 2021, during the online Annual Board and CEO meeting. The company earned both the Emergency Recovery Award and the Emergency Assistance Award earlier this year for its restoration efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias and Hurricane Laura, respectively.

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