WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As of 7:00 p.m. EDT, approximately 3.6 million customers are without power in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina as a result of Hurricane Irma. At Irma's peak on September 11, there were more than 7.8 million outages.
"Progress continues to be made to restore power to those who were impacted by Irma," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "Just two days after the storm passed, more than 50 percent of customer outages have been restored. We know this is no consolation to those who are still without power, but customers should know that an army of almost 60,000 is working around the clock and remains dedicated to the Irma response and recovery effort."
The electric power industry's Irma response is one of the largest power restoration efforts in U.S. history.
Responding to major events like Irma requires significant coordination among the public and private sectors, and strong industry-government coordination is critical. As we did throughout Hurricane Harvey, EEI and the electric power industry are working through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) to coordinate with the federal government, other segments of the industry, and critical infrastructure operators.
Earlier today, the ESCC leadership held a call with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) President Lonnie Stephenson, as well as senior executives from EEI's member companies and from across the industry, to discuss ongoing coordination and restoration efforts.
"We thank Secretaries Perry and Duke for their participation in these calls and for their ongoing support and leadership," said Kuhn. "We also appreciate that Secretaries Perry and Duke recognize the heroic efforts of the workers who are helping to restore power throughout the Southeast. IBEW President Stephenson reinforced that the crews dedicated to the restoration are proud to be part of the team and to be supporting the Irma response."
Ensuring the safety of customers, communities, and workers is the electric power industry's highest priority. As always, customers should stay away from downed power lines and always treat fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized. Customers using generators should plug appliances directly into the generator and follow all safety warnings.
"We know that being without electricity creates hardships, and we are grateful for our customers' patience as electric companies work day and night to restore power," said Kuhn. "Companies will continue their storm restoration efforts around the clock until the last customer who can receive power is restored."
EEI's Storm Center is a resource for real-time information and explanations of the restoration process. It also includes a map to company outage centers. Customers can follow EEI on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.
It is important to remember that outages measure customer meters impacted, not the number of individuals without power. As Irma unfolded, some customers experienced more than one outage. Customers in Alabama also experienced limited Irma-related impacts; no significant outages remain.
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies, with operations in more than 90 countries, as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members. Organized in 1933, EEI provides public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and essential conferences and forums.
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SOURCE Edison Electric Institute