Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

Public power crews assist IOUs with power restoration efforts

Public power utilities are assisting investor-owned utilities with power restoration efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, which knocked out power to millions of customers.

On the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 5, all customers of Connecticut public power utility South Norwalk Electric and Water were restored from Isaias-related issues.

On Friday, Aug. 7, South Norwalk Electric and Water reported that its electric line crews were out assisting IOU Eversource on mutual aid for a second day. “We will continue to work in #Norwalk and beyond until all of our neighbors are back in service. This is #publicpower,” South Norwalk Electric and Water said in a tweet.

On its website, Eversource reported that it had made significant progress overnight on Thursday, restoring service to about 91,500 additional customers. The IOU noted that 526,834 customers have been restored since the storm began and that as of 9:15 a.m. Friday morning, there were approximately 414,000 customers without service.

“We have more than 1,000 crews deployed today and more on the way from Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland and New York,” Eversource said.

JEA crews sent to assist New York IOU with restoration efforts

Meanwhile, Florida public power utility JEA on Aug. 7 sent 30 lineworkers to New York IOU Con Edison, which continues to work on restoring power to its customers.

In an Aug. 7 update, the IOU reported that crews were working to restore electricity in New York City and Westchester County, bringing the number of customers back in service to more than 217,000.

The work, which is taking place on the streets and in aerial buckets in the region’s neighborhoods, will continue around the clock until all the approximately 300,000 customers affected by Isaias are back in service, it said.

Con Edison said it had more than 1,650 of its own field workers on the job and was getting help from 819 mutual aid and contractor workers from as far away as Texas, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin. An additional 311 workers were scheduled to arrive by the weekend.

Con Edison said the vast majority of customers were expected to be restored by end of day, Sunday, August 9.

Ricky Erixton, JEA interim general manager for electric systems, noted that this was the first time JEA has participated in mutual aid during a pandemic.

“We’re sending our guys with sanitizer, masks, all these types of things that help prevent the spread of COVID,” he said in a video posted on JEA’s Twitter feed.

“Also, up there, the local utility has the same type of practices. We’re trying to stay socially distant. They’re keeping our guys separated from other guys in hotels,” he said.

 NYPA helps utility rebuild transmission lines

Meanwhile, New York Power Authority line workers have been helping rebuild New York State Electric and Gas 115-kV and 46-kV transmission lines to help restore electric service in the lower Hudson Valley region, NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones noted in a tweet.

“Proud of @NYPAenergy’s transmission lineworkers who are part of the mutual assistance team rebuilding and restoring transmission service to @NYSEandG customers,” Quiniones said in an Aug. 8 tweet.