WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Superstorm Sandy hit the United States in October 2012 and brought with it extensive destruction across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Throughout the storm and for months following, natural gas utility companies worked to help ensure those affected by Sandy were able to safely rely on natural gas for their home energy needs.
Among the utilities which provided mutual aid assistance was Michigan's Consumers Energy. For the first time in its 125 year history, the utility sent gas work crews out of state to assist with the restoration of natural gas service. The company released approximately 25 employees who worked with National Grid in several areas near New York City for about two weeks.
"Consumers Energy strongly supports mutual assistance and utilities helping each other in times of need. Superstorm Sandy's destruction was unparalleled and we were pleased we could provide assistance in New York," said Dan Malone, senior vice president of distribution and customer operations at Consumers Energy. "While helping others when needed, we continue to sharpen our readiness to respond to natural crises and emergency needs in our home state of Michigan."
Consumers Energy participates in the American Gas Association's mutual assistance program for unprecedented disasters requiring the dedication of response, recovery and restoration resources outside the limits of existing local, state and regional mutual assistance programs. In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, and in its aftermath, Consumers Energy was one of more than 20 natural gas utilities that participated in daily calls to offer assistance and guidance to utilities and safety officials in the communities where natural gas service had been interrupted.
"The impact of this storm was greater than anyone expected, but our members were standing ready to assist to make sure the natural gas community had the support it needed to help those affected recover as quickly as possible," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the American Gas Association. "Natural gas utility crews from across the country and Canada worked tirelessly to help the member companies and customers impacted. This was a real life example of the strength of the natural gas community – crews traveled long distances and often endured challenging circumstances, but you never heard a complaint – folks were there to help and that's what they were focused on."
AGA developed coins of recognition to honor those who contributed to Superstorm Sandy restoration and has awarded them to individuals at Consumers Energy. The coins were presented today at a recognition event held for Consumers Energy employees in Bath, Mich..
McCurdy added: "It is often said that one's true character is revealed during a crisis, and that could not be more accurate. We are extremely proud of the many who dedicated their time and effort to making sure their fellow utility crews and the customers impacted by Sandy had the help they needed."
About the American Gas Association
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 92 percent — more than 65 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.
About Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. For more information regarding Consumers Energy, visit us at: www.ConsumersEnergy.com or join us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan
SOURCE Consumers Energy