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Cleco earns two Emergency Assistance Awards

Jan 10, 2018

PINEVILLE, La. – Today, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) presented Cleco with two Emergency Assistance Awards for its outstanding work assisting utilities and customers impacted by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

The award is presented to EEI member companies to recognize an outstanding response in assisting other electric companies with power restoration efforts after service has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The recipients were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Winter Board and CEO Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Cleco is honored to receive these awards in recognition of the hard work and dedication of our line mechanics and emergency response team during one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in history,” said Cleco CEO Bill Fontenot. “Our utility neighbors would do the same for us, and we are fortunate to have a team dedicated to assisting our partner utilities and their customers with power restoration and rebuilding efforts.”

“Following Hurricane Harvey, Cleco loaned one of its mobile transformers to replace a substation that was submerged in six feet of water, cutting off power to roughly 14,000 Beaumont-area residents.  Replacing the damaged substation could have taken up to six months,” said James Lass, Cleco general manager of distribution operations and emergency management.   “Cleco, along with our contractors, transported and installed the mobile transformer which restored power to the area in less than four days.” 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Cleco crews spent two weeks working alongside Georgia Power and Florida Power & Light Company crews to clear debris and replace and repair over 100 power poles and approximately 70,000 feet of wire across Georgia and Florida.

“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, Cleco answered both calls for help. Cleco’s assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action.”

This is the 11th emergency response award Cleco has earned since the program began in 1998.

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 as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.