As the damage continued to be assessed following Hurricane Irma, FirstEnergy Corp. utilities sent additional linemen and support personnel to help utilities in Florida with restoration efforts following large-scale power outages.
The crews left for Florida early in the morning on Sept. 16 from various FirstEnergy utility facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland. They joined other FirstEnergy employees that traveled to Florida the week before and were working in the field to restore power to customers. Overall, more than 630 FirstEnergy employees were assisting with the restoration effort, along with a full contingent of tree trimmers and electrical contractors who have working relationships with FirstEnergy.
All 10 of FirstEnergy's utilities were part of the mutual assistance effort, which included crews from Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Penelec, Penn Power, West Penn Power and Met-Ed in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in West Virginia and Maryland; and Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey. Support personnel from FirstEnergy's corporate offices also were included in the company's contingent.
"The aftermath of Hurricane Irma has resulted in one of the largest power outages our nation has ever experienced and FirstEnergy personnel are glad to be able to help those Florida customers in need," said Steven Strah, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "Many of our linemen have been to Florida in the past to assist following other hurricanes, so they know firsthand the challenging working conditions that they will be facing over the next week as they safely restore power."
FirstEnergy had personnel in place to continue to maintain reliable operations for its customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland, while also assisting those in need in Florida.
FirstEnergy is a member of multiple electric utility mutual-assistance groups that work cooperatively to restore service to customers when a natural disaster causes large-scale power outages. Mutual assistance allows utilities to pool their resources to help restore power to customers faster. In the past, FirstEnergy and its employees have been honored by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with its "Emergency Assistance Award" for the mutual assistance the company has provided during winter and summer storms.