AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its long-standing tradition of assisting other electric companies during large-scale power outages, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities have sent more than 525 line workers, forestry crews and support personnel to Beaumont, Texas, to help Entergy with restoration efforts following Hurricane Laura. Crews began leaving for Texas Wednesday morning, with all expected to arrive by early Friday.
Current forecasts call for Hurricane Laura to make landfall in Texas and Louisiana this evening. The category 4 hurricane is expected to bring extreme winds, storm surge and flash flooding along the northwest Gulf Coast. Personnel will be deployed to the most damaged areas when it's safe to do so after the storm moves through.
Eight of FirstEnergy's utilities are part of the mutual assistance effort, which includes crews from The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Penelec, 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 (JCP&L) in New Jersey. Support personnel from FirstEnergy's corporate offices also are included in the company's contingent.
"FirstEnergy employees are committed to assisting what is likely to be a massive power restoration effort in Texas," said John Skory, vice president of utility operations for FirstEnergy. "While it's not expected that Hurricane Laura will impact any FirstEnergy service territories, we have carefully assessed conditions and are confident we have the personnel in place to maintain reliable operations for our customers."
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. Earlier this month, more than 8,000 utility personnel from 17 states, including crews from Entergy, helped restore power to approximately 788,000 JCP&L customers following Tropical Storm Isaias. 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.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.