Edison Electric Institute has honored MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. subsidiaries MidAmerican Energy Co., Rocky Mountain Power and Pacific Power with 2012 Emergency Assistance Awards for their efforts to help other electric utilities restore power following Hurricane Sandy.
In the wake of the massive East Coast power outages caused by the storm,
MidAmerican Energy sent 29 employees to assist Central Hudson Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas in New York. MidAmerican Energy also released more than 250 contract line workers and tree crew members to provide assistance to other utility companies impacted by the storm. Rocky Mountain Power sent 18 employees to New Jersey to support FirstEnergy crews, while Pacific Power coordinated transportation to the East Coast for Rocky Mountain Power and three other Northwest utilities' crews.
"All of our 29 employees voluntarily participated in the relief effort," said Bill Fehrman, president and chief executive officer,
MidAmerican Energy. "Their hard work and commitment to help restore power and help these communities return to normal is greatly appreciated."
Two crews from Mid-American Energy, including employees from the Fort Dodge area, answered the call and traveled from Iowa to New York on Oct. 27 and Oct. 30.
Chris Dettmann, a journeyman/lineman; Larry Harms, a journeyman/lineman; and Doug Egli, an electric crew leader, all based from the Fort Dodge Service Center, traveled from Des Moines with 15 MidAmerican crew members from across the state to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. At Poughkeepsie, they spent more than a week helping crews from Central Hudson Gas & Electric restore power to100,000 customers.
Since 1998, the Emergency Assistance Awards have been presented each year to EEI member electric utility companies. The award recognizes extraordinary efforts undertaken to restore electric service to another utility company that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The companies were chosen following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI's winter CEO meeting.
"The restoration assistance following Hurricane Sandy was truly remarkable," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "Getting the lights back on quickly and safely following a major storm is never easy. Working through the industry's mutual assistance program, these companies' crews were essential in helping their fellow utility companies restore service in affected neighborhoods. This assistance also shows their compassion in helping others in their time of need. I congratulate them."
MidAmerican Energy Co., Iowa's largest energy company, provides electric service to 732,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines.