The Edison Electric Institute last week honored Georgia Power with the association’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for outstanding efforts in restoring electric service to Consolidated Edison customers in New York following a storm that brought torrential rain and high winds.

The award is presented annually to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize an outstanding response in restoring electric service to a fellow utility company that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Spring CEO meeting.

In mid-March 2010, heavy winds and more than four inches of rain pummeled the greater New York City area. Damage from fallen trees and power lines caused outages to 187,000 Con Edison customers. Restoration efforts were hampered by fallen trees and debris that made roads impassable, while strong winds forced lineworkers from utilizing the bucket trucks.

Georgia Power’s assembled crew of 206 employees amassed 18,500 man-hours in the restoration effort. Crews were greeted by enthusiastic Con Edison customers as they worked to restore broken poles and downed wire. The effort lasted for five days straight, before assisting crews made the 900-mile trip back to Georgia.

“Georgia Power went out of its way to work hard and assist another utility company reeling from heavy storms,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The utility’s dedication to keeping the lights on is a fine example of how this industry helps out its own.”