Released By Edison Electric Institute News Release
Jan. 13, 2000


Rancho Mirage, CA (January 13, 2000) — In recognition of its exemplary efforts to respond to some of the worst local storms on record, Duke Power today was named a winner of the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Response Award. Duke is among six utilities named as winners of the award given annually by EEI, which is the association of shareholder-owned electric utilities that deliver about three-fourths of the nation’s electric power.

EEI’s Emergency Response Award recognizes companies that demonstrate outstanding efforts to restore service to customers in the wake of natural disasters, such as the ice storms that battered parts of Duke’s service territory during late 1998 and 1999.

"Duke Power’s performance under dire natural circumstances is a model for electric utilities everywhere," said Thomas R. Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute. "They are to be congratulated for their sterling response on behalf of their customers.

Duke was honored for its recovery efforts following ice storms affecting separate portions of its service territory on consecutive holiday weekends, December 23-25 (Christmas), 1998 and January 2-6 (New Year’s), 1999. The first storm battered Greensboro, Charlotte and Durham, leaving 200,000 customers in the dark. The second, during a severe cold snap, left another 374,000 customers without power, primarily in Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson Counties, SC, and the Shelby/Gastonia area of North Carolina.

The Christmas storm was recorded as the fifth worst since Hurricane Hugo in 1989, until the even more severe New Year’s storm hit. The first storm affected nearly 6,000 miles of line, the second more than 8,500 miles. All affected customers in the first storm had power restored in two days; all were restored following the second in four days. Call center staff members and volunteers responded to nearly 300,000 calls in an average of 39 seconds through the crises. Working under dangerous conditions through the holidays, field crews were able to restore customers without a single significant injury to workers.

Other winners of EEI’s Emergency Response Awards are: Carolina Power & Light, Raleigh, NC; Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Juno Beach, FL; 0GB Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, OK; Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Washington, DC; and Virginia Power, Richmond, VA.

Edison Electric Institute also honored the following companies with Emergency Assistance Awards, which recognize companies that swiftly and vigorously provide aid to electric utility recovery efforts outside their own service territories: Alabama Power Company, Birmingham, AL; Allegheny Power, Hagerstown, MD; AmerenCIPS, Springfield, IL; American Electric Power (AEP), Columbus, Ohio; and Entergy Corporation, New Orleans, LA.

Contact: John Castagna
Phone: 202-508-5661
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