Pike Electric Corporation, a provider of outsourced electric distribution and transmission services, announced that approximately 1500 Pike Electric crew members, supervisors and support staff from 18 states are involved in the Hurricane Rita restoration efforts at this time. Rita made landfall early Saturday morning as a strong category 3 hurricane, which pounded the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. Although many crews were released from the Hurricane Katrina restorations less than a week ago, approximately 300 Pike personnel were continuing restoration efforts in the Gulf region prior to Rita's landfall.

Although some initial reports indicate damage left by Rita is not as widespread as Katrina, outage reports continue to rise as utilities evaluate the overall damage to their systems. It is likely that more crews will be mobilized next week and restoration efforts could last up to several more weeks with this latest storm.

Pike's storm center has not closed since Aug. 24 and will remain open 24/7 until restoration efforts are completed and Pike line crews have returned home, many of which have already served on Tropical Storm Cindy, Hurricane Dennis as well as Hurricane Katrina during this year's hurricane season alone.