WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tropical Storm Harvey continues to cause catastrophic damage and significant flooding across some parts of Texas and Louisiana. As of 6:00 p.m. EDT, approximately 318,000 customers in Texas and Louisiana are without power.
Ensuring the safety of workers and customers remains the number one priority. In some cases, weather conditions and damage are preventing crews from getting to the hardest-hit or flooded areas.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by Harvey and by the catastrophic flooding unfolding across southeastern Texas," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "We know that people without electricity face real hardships, and we deeply appreciate their understanding and patience as electric company crews go about their vital jobs of restoring power under extremely challenging and dangerous conditions."
Our industry's mutual assistance networks are activated. At this point, more than 8,000 resources are dedicated to the response and recovery effort. This includes crews, lineworkers, and support personnel from the impacted companies and the industry's mutual assistance network. Additional resources are ready to mobilize to assist impacted companies if needed to further support restoration.
"The mutual assistance network is truly a hallmark of our industry," said Kuhn. "I would like to thank all of the restoration workers for their hard work and dedication."
Flooding creates a unique and dangerous environment that can delay assessment and restoration efforts. "I want to emphasize that this will be a long-duration event. Flooding can damage electrical systems, and some customers may not be able to receive power to their homes. This will delay the restoration of service for individual customers," Kuhn added.
EEI continues to coordinate closely with its member companies and with the Department of Energy through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). The ESCC is the principal liaison between senior industry and government officials.
As always, customers who see downed power lines should assume they are energized, stay away from them, and contact their local electric company. In flooded areas, customers should avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
EEI's Storm Center includes a map to company outage centers, as well as real-time information and updates on response and restoration progress. The Storm Center also includes storm safety tips, flood safety tips, and an overview of the response and restoration process. EEI's storm response team is available to answer any questions that reporters may have about mutual assistance and the restoration process. The latest updates from EEI can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
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.