WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tropical Storm Harvey remains a serious storm that is causing dangerous and life-threatening flooding in parts of Texas and is impacting portions of Louisiana. As of 6:00 p.m. EDT, approximately 310,000 are without power in the affected areas. The safety of customers, communities, and crews remains the electric power industry's number one priority.
"Damage assessments are underway, and restoration progress is being made in areas that can be accessed safely," said Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn. "At this point, nearly 10,000 workers are dedicated to the response and recovery effort. This includes crews, lineworkers, and support personnel from the impacted companies and mutual assistance crews from at least 19 states across the country. Additional resources are ready to mobilize to assist if needed to further support restoration."
The industry continues to coordinate with the federal government at the highest levels. This afternoon, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry convened a call for the third consecutive day with the CEOs of companies impacted by Harvey to ensure that all resource needs continue to be met and that there is a touchpoint for continued coordination.
"We appreciate Secretary Perry's ongoing leadership in helping to coordinate the industry-government response for the electric power industry and his support for our crews and the response effort," said Kuhn. "As we are all seeing, the devastation and flooding from Harvey are catastrophic, and this will be a long-duration restoration event."
In some cases, weather conditions and damage continue to prevent crews from getting to the hardest-hit or flooded areas. Flooding creates difficult and dangerous conditions that can delay assessment and power restoration efforts. A visual explanation of how flooding impacts restoration is available here on the EEI website. Once the storm ends, some customers may not be able to receive power to their homes because of damage. In fact, there may be some areas along the coast of Texas that will not be able to accept electricity services for weeks or months.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas and Louisiana who have been impacted by Harvey," added Kuhn. "We know that being without electricity creates hardships for customers, and we appreciate their patience as electric companies work around the clock to restore power where and when conditions are safe to do so."
Customers who see downed power lines should continue to 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.
Some electric company customers are being targeted by scammers, and customers should be aware of suspicious emails, phone calls, or persons impersonating electric company employees.
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.