FirstEnergy crews assist with Hurricane Ida restoration efforts

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In keeping with the tradition of assisting other electric companies during large-scale power outages, FirstEnergy Corp. said that its utilities have sent approximately 500 line workers, forestry crews, support personnel and internal contractors to Louisiana to help Entergy with power restoration efforts following Hurricane Ida.

Crews began leaving Sunday morning and expect to arrive in Louisiana throughout Monday and Tuesday.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana Sunday afternoon, bringing extreme winds, storm surge and flash flooding along the northeast Gulf Coast. More than a million customers are currently without power in Louisiana, and more than 100,000 have lost power in Mississippi.

Personnel will be deployed to the most damaged areas when it’s safe to do so.

All 10 of FirstEnergy’s utilities are part of the mutual assistance effort, which includes crews from The Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Penn Power, Penelec, West Penn Power and Met-Ed in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in West Virginia and Maryland; and Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) in New Jersey. Support personnel from FirstEnergy’s corporate offices also are included in the company’s contingent.

“Many of our linemen have been to Louisiana in the past to help following other hurricanes, and they are committed to assisting what is likely to be a massive power restoration effort in challenging working conditions,” said John Skory, vice president of utility operations for FirstEnergy. “While it’s not expected that Hurricane Ida will have a significant impact on our FirstEnergy service territories, we have carefully assessed conditions and are confident we have the personnel in place to maintain reliable operations for our customers at home.”

Officials are warning that it could take weeks for power to be restored. It might take up to 21 days to reconnect the 400,000 residents of Jefferson Parish, which encompasses the suburbs west and south of New Orleans. Also, it could be five days until the water and sewer system is up and running again.

FirstEnergy is a member of multiple electric utility mutual-assistance groups that work cooperatively to restore service to customers when a natural disaster causes large-scale power outages.

Mutual assistance allows utilities to pool their resources to help restore power to customers faster. FirstEnergy and its employees have been honored numerous times by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with its “Emergency Assistance Award” for the mutual assistance the company has provided during winter and summer storms.

Originally published by power-grid.com