Edison Electric Institute (EEI) awarded Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E), a subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp (NYSE: OGE), two Emergency Response Awards recognizing the electric company’s restoration efforts following a tornado in Seminole, Okla., last May and Hurricane Ian in Florida in September.
EEI’s Emergency Response Awards recognize companies for outstanding recovery and assistance efforts to restore service safely and quickly to customers following a storm, extreme weather event or natural disaster. Award recipients were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s virtual winter Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
“Throughout the past six months, electric companies faced devastating hurricanes, unprecedented heat waves and many other extreme weather events that impacted the customers and communities we serve,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “I commend OG&E’s commitment to restoring service for its customers safely and quickly under challenging conditions. I also applaud OG&E for aiding neighboring electric companies in their times of need.”
OG&E’s EEI Emergency Recovery Award is based on the electric company’s emergency response following several tornados that swept through areas Oklahoma in May. Seminole was significantly affected by the storms as winds reached an estimated peak of 100-110 mph, causing widespread damage and power outages for more than 12,000 customers at the storm’s peak. More than 500 OG&E personnel worked tirelessly to restore service for Seminole citizens and ensure residents were safe.
Later in the year, when Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Sept. 28 as a Category 4 hurricane, more than 2.6 million residents were without power. OG&E responded to Tampa Electric’s request for assistance by sending 60 trucks and a team of 95 linemen, contractors, vegetation management personnel and support staff to Florida. The dispatched crews worked 16 hours a day for two weeks, restoring service for and providing critical support to tens of thousands of Floridians. EEI recognized OG&E’s mutual assistance effort with the EEI Emergency Assistance Award. As with all mutual assistance deployments, the requesting electric company pays for the costs of other companies who provide support.
“I’m honored by EEI’s recognition of OG&E’s impactful restoration efforts following severe weather events, and I’m proud of our team’s continual dedication to serving our neighbors near and far,” said Sean Trauschke, Chairman, President and CEO of OGE Energy Corp. “OG&E energizes life for the customers and communities we serve. Whether they live in Oklahoma or Florida, the OG&E team is always ready to help our neighbors, and these awards exemplify our commitment.”
Since 1999, OG&E has received the highest national distinction for emergency recovery 21 times. The company has been recognized 12 times for major storms affecting the OG&E system and 10 times for assisting other electric companies and their customers.
“OG&E and its storm response team are undoubtedly deserving of this national recognition, and I am honored to present them with these well-deserved awards,” said Kuhn.