For the second consecutive year, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has honored ComEd as recipient of the association's "Emergency Recovery Award." This year's award recognizes the Chicago-based utility's response following a series of severe August thunderstorms that left more than 500,000 customers without service in northern Illinois.
The Aug. 4 storms produced three confirmed tornadoes, 87,890 lightning strikes and winds approaching 100 miles per hour. ComEd's Emergency Operations Center was aware of the storm's potential for damage even before it hit, and the company executed a plan that quickly placed crews in the affected areas. This allowed 98 percent of affected customers to be restored within the first 48 hours and all affected customers after four days.
"ComEd's service territory experienced a truly devastating storm, and their emergency operations plan again produced impressive results," said EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn. "Their meticulous guidelines in handling severe natural events set a terrific example of our industry's determination to get the lights back on in a timely and safe manner."
ComEd Construction & Maintenance Crew Leader Mike Moudry and Anne Pramaggiore, executive vice president of Customer Operations, Regulatory & External Affairs, accepted the award in D.C. on behalf of all ComEd employees.
"We are deeply honored to be considered an industry leader in this category for the second consecutive year," said J. Barry Mitchell, ComEd's president and chief operating officer. "Meeting our customer commitments requires superb teamwork and execution on a daily basis, and emergency situations such as the August 2008 storms only crystallize just how skilled and dedicated ComEd employees are in supporting this mission."
The extent of damage from the Aug. 4 storms included about 200 damaged utility poles, more than 150 damaged transformers, and the replacement of more than 30 miles of electric wire. ComEd also managed 141 out-of-state crews that traveled from Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania to assist in the restoration efforts.
Last year, EEI honored ComEd for its emergency recovery effort following storms on Aug. 23 and 24, 2007, which left 634,000 customers without power and six counties declared federal disaster areas. Following those storms, the utility re-established service to all customers within five days, including restoring 75 percent of those affected within one day.
The "Emergency Recovery Award" is presented annually by EEI and recognizes exceptional efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather or other natural events. A panel of judges chose the recipients following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI's spring meetings.