T&D World Magazine

More Than 1,500 AEP Employees, Contractors Assisting Hurricane Relief Efforts; AEP Tugboats Help Evacuations

American Electric Power continues to supply employees, contractors and equipment to assist in the recovery effort from damages caused by Hurricane Katrina.

As of last week, AEP had dispatched 1506 employees and contractors with necessary equipment to assist with power restoration and infrastructure repair or construction in areas hit by Katrina. AEP crews and contractors dispatched include:

  • 127 from Indiana Michigan Power
  • 384 from AEP Ohio
  • 70 from Kentucky Power
  • 173 from Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO)
  • 292 from Appalachian Power
  • 146 from AEP Texas
  • 188 from Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO)
  • 126 other AEP employees and contractors not assigned to a specific AEP utility.

AEP personnel are in Florida, where Katrina hit before regaining strength over the Gulf of Mexico, and in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, where the hurricane made landfall on Monday.

“This is, by far, the largest contingent of AEP personnel ever dispatched to assist after a disaster, but this may also be the worst natural disaster this nation has experienced,” said Carl English, president - AEP Utilities. “Our employees and their counterparts representing other utilities are operating in very difficult conditions. Some have been sleeping in their trucks. Logistics for food and water are still being worked out and communications in many areas is poor at best. Our crews may be away from their families for a lengthy period. But they know the value of the work they are doing.

“It is important that we do all we can to help Gulf Coast residents recover from this tragedy,” English said. “We remain staffed to respond to outages and other emergencies in our own service territories, but we ask our customers to be patient as other non-critical projects may be delayed as we provide our assistance to the massive hurricane relief effort.”

In addition to the crews and equipment assisting in the relief effort, AEP’s river operations unit has provided assistance to the efforts to evacuate New Orleans. Tugboats from AEP river operations have been ferrying evacuees from flooded New Orleans to dry locations on the opposite side of the Mississippi River. AEP is the third-largest inland barge operator in the United States.

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