PSO received the Emergency Response Award, one of the highest awards in the electric utility industry, from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) for its response to the Father’s Day windstorm of 2023.
“The EEI Emergency Response Award is a great honor and a fitting tribute to the unwavering commitment of the team that worked night and day to restore power to more than 200,000 PSO customers after the Father’s Day storm,” said PSO President
and Chief Operating Officer Leigh Anne Strahler.
“Thanks to the thousands of people from PSO, our business partners and the Mutual Assistance crews from around the
nation whose cooperation, energy and dedication were invaluable to the restoration efforts. We also owe special thanks to our customers, whose patience and resilience made a successful recovery possible.”
EEI’s Emergency Response Awards internationally recognize recovery and assistance efforts of electric companies following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events.
A massive windstorm with straight-line winds over 100 mph struck the Tulsa area on June 17, tearing mature trees from the ground, destroying homes and damaging much of PSO’s metropolitan Tulsa power grid. At the height of the outage, 204,677 PSO customers were without power, the second largest outage in recent PSO history.
PSO marshalled a small army of more than 4,100 lineworkers, foresters and field support workers, including 700 from PSO and Oklahoma business partners and Mutual Assistance crews from 17 states to respond to the outage.
Three days before the storm, another destructive storm swept through the region, including PSO’s Lawton district, which saw reported wind gusts up to 100 mph and more than 18,000 customer outages.
The earlier storms meant PSO personnel, local business partners and other Mutual Assistance crews were already hard at work prior to the historic Tulsa storm when outage numbers soared. Despite those challenges, PSO responded safely and quickly, restoring service to the vast majority of customers by June 24.
“Our Oklahoma communities rely upon PSO to restore power safely and as quickly as possible, and our crews are committed to that promise,” said Strahler.
Source: PSO release