HOUSTON, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CenterPoint Energy has been presented with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI)'s Emergency Recovery and Emergency Assistance awards for its outstanding work following severe storms in Sealy, Texas in May 2017, Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston area in August 2017 and for mutual assistance in Florida following Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
The honors are presented to EEI member companies to recognize outstanding efforts to restore service following a storm or other natural disaster.
CenterPoint Energy was presented with EEI's "Emergency Recovery Award" for its outstanding power restoration efforts after storms hit Sealy, Texas in May 2017.
On May 23, severe storms with winds between 80 and 100 mph hit the community of Sealy. The torrential rain, massive hail and tornado-force winds resulted in nearly 70,000 customer outages. While the storm was isolated to only 15.5 square-miles of CenterPoint Energy's 5,000 square-mile service area, the damage to the electrical infrastructure was extreme.
Working safely and efficiently over two days, CenterPoint Energy crews dedicated more than 16,000 man-hours to the effort and replaced nine wooden transmission poles, 246 distribution poles and 356 spans of wire, restoring service to 100 percent of customers.
The company also received EEI's "Emergency Recovery Award" for its outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
Hurricane Harvey was a record-breaking storm that inundated southeast Texas with nearly 52 inches of rainfall. Following landfall as a Category 4 storm, nearly 4,000 CenterPoint Energy employees and contractors, as well as mutual assistance personnel from seven states, worked safely and efficiently to restore more than 1.2 million outages over the duration of the storm.
"Hurricane Harvey was completely different from any storm we have ever seen," said Ed Scott, director of Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "In 2008, Hurricane Ike came through our territory and the next day the sun was out and we could begin restoring service. For Hurricane Harvey, we knew that it was going to be a long road to restoration, so we prepared ourselves and our resources."
The company's technology, resources and emergency preparation allowed for an efficient power restoration process, including smart grid automation, real-time analytics, drones to assess damage and evaluate work conditions, and construction of a mobile substation providing service to more than 9,000 customers. The company also used 36 air boats and 15 amphibious vehicles to navigate high waters throughout its electric service territory.
CenterPoint Energy was presented with EEI's "Emergency Assistance Award" for its outstanding work restoring power to customers in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
Two days after completing restoration efforts for Hurricane Harvey, nearly 200 CenterPoint Energy linemen, contract crews and support personnel embarked on a mutual assistance trip to help restore power to multiple cities in Florida following the devastating destruction of Hurricane Irma.
"We knew the need was shifting east, and we wanted to be there to help others who helped us during Hurricane Harvey," added Scott.
"When disaster impacts a region, electric companies from across the nation are called on to assist impacted companies in need – mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "When Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck, CenterPoint Energy answered the call to help. CenterPoint Energy's assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action."
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, please visit www.CenterPointEnergy.com.
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