By Teresa Young
In recognition of PG&E’s outstanding restoration efforts in response to the series of winter storms in January and February, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has awarded the energy company with the 2017 Emergency Recovery Award during its annual convention in Boston today (June 13).
EEI honors companies that have exemplified exceptional leadership and service in the electric power industry, and recognizes extraordinary efforts to restore power in times of crisis and efforts of other companies to assist fellow utilities in times of need.
This is PG&E’s fifth recovery or assistance award from EEI in the past 10 years.
“Being recognized by EEI and our peers for our 2017 storm response work is an immense honor for our company,” said Nick Stavropoulos, PG&E president and chief operating officer. “It acknowledges the hard work and dedication of our 23,000 employees and not only demonstrates our team’s commitment to safely restoring power to our customers, but also our ability to partner with outside agencies and first responders to meet the needs of cities and communities across our diverse state.”
The winter of 2016-2017 proved to be the wettest season in 91 years in PG&E’s Northern and Central California service area.
Despite significant hazard conditions from snow, rain, wind and mudslides, thousands of team members worked around the clock and successfully restored more than 2.3 million customers — the vast majority within 24 hours — with a high safety performance. The total of 18 major event days was record-setting and the storms had the highest recorded impact to customers in the past nine years.
Critical impacts through the storm season included extensive road damage, intensified winds greater than 70 mph that resulted in numerous downed wires and broken poles, major tree failures, saturated ground, extreme flooding that displaced several communities and massive mud slides that led to multiple major highway and road closures.
One of the most significant incidents this season was damage to the Oroville Dam spillway that mandated emergency evacuations of 188,000 residents in several Northern California counties.
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