ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwired - Jan. 10, 2018) - The Edison Electric Institute ("EEI") today presented Fortis Inc. ("Fortis") (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS) and its group of utilities with the "Emergency Assistance Award" for its outstanding work assisting customers impacted by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
The award is presented to EEI member companies to recognize an outstanding response in assisting other electric companies in power restoration efforts after service has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI's Winter Board and CEO Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.
FortisTCI, operating on the Turks and Caicos Islands, was severely impacted by Hurricane Irma. On September 10, 2017, the Fortis emergency response team was the first to land in the country after the "all-clear" was given by the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Fortis response included approximately 250 employees and contract personnel from all Fortis utilities throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The restoration team rebuilt and restored many kilometres of transmission, distribution and service lines, and replaced approximately 1,500 electricity poles.
"The response of the Fortis team in supporting FortisTCI following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma was a defining moment in the history of our company," said Barry Perry, President and CEO, Fortis. "Our employees were the first humanitarian team on the ground in Turks and Caicos and were able to restore power to the entire country in less than 60 days with no safety incidents. I cannot thank our team enough for their efforts."
"When disaster impacts a region, electric companies from across the nation are called on to assist impacted companies in need - mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "When Hurricane Irma struck, Fortis answered the call to help. Fortis' assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action."
"Restoring the electricity system quickly was paramount to returning the economy of Turks and Caicos, particularly the tourism sector, to normal," said Eddinton Powell, President and CEO, FortisTCI. "The extraordinary deployment of resources was remarkable, allowing power to be restored in a timely fashion. The big winners were our electricity customers who were able to focus on rebuilding homes and getting businesses successfully operating again."
Mr. Perry thanked customers for their cooperation and kindness shown to the Fortis team as they worked to restore electricity, as well as His Excellency the Governor, Dr. John Freeman and Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, for working with Fortis to coordinate efforts to get the lights back on for the people of Turks and Caicos.
This was the 9th emergency response effort of this kind for Fortis utilities.
Fortis is a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry with total assets of approximately C$47 billion as of September 30, 2017. The Corporation's more than 8,000 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries.
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.