The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today awarded Ameren Illinois with the association’s "Emergency Recovery Award" for its exceptional power restoration efforts after a widespread severe weather outbreak in November 2013.
The award is presented annually to EEI member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Spring CEO and Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. Thomas R. Voss, chairman and CEO of Ameren, accepted the award on behalf of Ameren Illinois.
On Nov. 17, severe straight-line winds, baseball-sized hail, and 10 tornadoes with winds up to 190 mph caused damage throughout Ameren Illinois’ 43,700-square-mile service territory. In the days following the storms, 15 Illinois counties were declared eligible for federal disaster assistance due to the extent and severity of the damage.
Ameren Illinois restoration crews quickly mobilized along with crews from other utilities in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee to restore power. Crews worked in hazardous conditions that required them to maneuver around downed trees and power lines and scattered debris. Within 48 hours, Ameren Illinois restored 95 percent of the nearly 150,000 customers who were without power.
"Ameren Illinois' outstanding restoration efforts exemplify the industry’s commitment to serving its customers," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "We commend the crews who braved dangerous conditions in the wake of these storms, as they diligently worked to safely and quickly restore service."
"Our employees routinely work storm restoration even when their own homes are without power," said Ameren Illinois President and CEO Richard J. Mark. "In the aftermath of this storm, several employees had their homes completely destroyed and yet they came to work and played a role in this restoration effort. These employees exemplify the spirit of Ameren Illinois by putting the needs of customers, co-workers, friends and neighbors before their own. I thank them and every Ameren Illinois co-worker who sacrificed to get the job done safely."
About Edison Electric Institute
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly employ more than 500,000 workers. EEI has 70 international electric companies as Affiliate Members, and 250 industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.
CONTACT: Jeff Ostermayer, EEI, 202-508-5683; Jon Corley, EEI, 202-508-5609