SWEPCO Honored for Disaster Assistance and Response

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today honored American Electric Power (AEP) and its operating units, including Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), with the association’s 2012 Emergency Assistance Award for their efforts to help other electric utilities restore power following Hurricane Sandy last October.

Over 2,600 AEP employees and contractors traveled to assist utilities in the northeast. AEP crews primarily worked in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia.

The electric power industry’s Emergency Assistance Award has been presented each year to EEI member electric utility companies since 1998. The award recognizes extraordinary efforts undertaken in restoring electric service to another utility company that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. 

In response to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the eastern United States, SWEPCO dedicated 169 company employees and 125 contract and tree crew personnel to the restoration effort. SWEPCO resources included construction crews, troublemen, engineers, technicians, fleet mechanics, inspectors and supervisors.

“This level of resource assistance commitment is the highest ever provided by SWEPCO for any storm event outside our service area,” said Venita McCellon-Allen, SWEPCO President and Chief Operating Officer. Initially, SWEPCO’s resources were deployed to assist our sister AEP utility, Appalachian Power Company. Upon completion of restoration activities in Virginia and West Virginia, SWEPCO resources were moved to assist First Energy and Jersey Central Power & Light Company in New York, Connecticut and the Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey area.

“Major storm recovery is always a team effort. Our employees have a long history of doing whatever is necessary to get power back on when major weather events interrupt service. Our employees stepped up to take care of customers far from home. SWEPCO received favorable comments from customers and other utilities in Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey about our storm response, leadership in the field and safety on the job,” said McCellon-Allen.

AEP’s restoration assistance following Hurricane Sandy was truly remarkable,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.  “Getting the lights back on quickly and safely following a major storm is never easy.  Working through the industry’s mutual assistance program, AEP crews were essential in helping their fellow utility companies restore service in affected neighborhoods. Importantly, AEP’s assistance also shows their compassion in helping others in their time of need.  I congratulate them.”


Media Contact:
Scott McCloud