Power sector reports on average 75% of all customers back online with number growing rapidly in wake of ‘super derecho’

WASHINGTON (July 3, 2012) – Power companies hit hard by the devastating weekend summer storm today reported major progress in their restoration efforts, with an average of 75 percent of customers restored, with that number growing rapidly, and a total workforce of 30,000. This includes both local utility workers and crews from as far away as Canada, Texas and Wyoming.

Utilities will continue their 24/7 work throughout the July 4 holiday and as long as it takes thereafter to restore service to every single customer.

“Understandably, the level of customer frustration grows with each passing hour and day they remain without electricity,” EEI President Tom Kuhn said. “That’s why the industry looks for every available worker and resource to help with restoration, no matter how great the distance they must travel to team with affected utilities. 

EEI’s Storm Center, with a map of affected states, a multi-media gallery providing a behind-the-scenes look at utility restoration efforts, a compilation of company news releases and much more, will remain live until all customers are back online. Additional new restoration footage is available here

The fast-moving storm had a devastating impact on utility infrastructure, with thousands of miles of transmission and distribution lines taken out, and many substations damaged or destroyed. Crews first needed to repair supply-side equipment before entering neighborhoods to remove debris and reconnect homes.

“Utility crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to complete restoration and, as troops on the front line, are witnessing first-hand the extensive damage caused by the storm and the resulting distress to customers,” Kuhn said. “We hold these men and women in the highest regard, as their sole focus is on restoring power to every last customer.