PINEVILLE, La. (WGNO) — In early June, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) presented Cleco Power with an Emergency Response Award for its efforts to restore power following Hurricanes Delta and Zeta in October 2020.
Emergency Response Awards are given to select EEI member companies in recognition of their recovery and assistance efforts following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process and announced during EEI’s virtual Board of Directors meeting.
“Last year’s storms tested all aspects of our emergency storm plan as well as our strength and endurance,” said Shane Hilton, president of Cleco Power. “Delta and Zeta hit us as we were still recovering from Laura, which meant we had to stay the course. Our employees, contractors, customers and everyone else who supported our recovery efforts helped us earn this award.”
Hurricane Delta made landfall Oct. 9 and left over 132,000 Cleco Power customers across the state without power. Less than three weeks later, Hurricane Zeta made landfall and left over 72,000 customers in St. Tammany and Washington parishes without power, which is 78 percentage of the company’s customers in the southeastern part of its service territory.
“Many EEI member companies experienced historic storms and other significant weather-related events in recent months that left customers without power,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry and is critical to ensuring a safe and efficient restoration. Crews worked around the clock and often in the most dangerous of conditions to assess damage and to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. They did all of this during a global pandemic. “Cleco Power and its employees went above and beyond for the customers and the communities impacted by Hurricanes Delta and Zeta, and they are exceptionally deserving of this outstanding award.”
Earlier this year, Cleco Power received an Emergency Response Award for its response to Hurricane Laura which made landfall Aug. 27, 2020 in southwest Louisiana. It was the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana since 1856.
Cleco Power has received 25 storm awards since the program’s inception in 1998, earning 14 Emergency Response Awards for storm recovery and 11 Emergency Assistance Awards for assisting other companies after a storm.