National Grid Earns More Than 20 EEI Emergency Awards Over as Many Years

By Patrick Stella

[From left] John Pettigrew, CEO of National Grid; EEI President Tom Kuhn and Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts accept the EEI Emergency Assistance Award for Upstate New York at the EEI Awards Ceremony in Florida.

Upstate New York is no stranger to storms, which is why National Grid pays close attention to the weather forecast across and beyond its 25,000-square-mile upstate service territory. National Grid crews, support teams and leadership know that any given day can quickly go from “blue sky” to an “all-hands-on-deck” situation. Whether it’s a surprise snow storm in western New York, severe straight line winds in Syracuse, or a hurricane with flooding in eastern New York, our upstate employees are at the ready.

The same commitment to storm readiness and our customers is evident across the company’s U.S. footprint. Over two decades, National Grid has received more than 20 Emergency Recovery and Emergency Assistance Awards from the Edison Electric Institute, which monitors utility activity and recognizes response excellence.

This month, EEI presented the company with the Emergency Assistance Award for outstanding power restoration efforts after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes affected our neighboring upstate New York utilities last May. During the event, severe thunderstorms and multiple confirmed macrobursts struck portions of the Catskills, mid-Hudson Valley, Taconics and beyond, with five confirmed tornadoes and winds recorded at more than 110 mph. National Grid quickly offered assistance and support to Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Avangrid/NYSEG, Con-Edison and Eversource, sending 334 company and contract overhead line, tree and transmission personnel and more than 180 utility vehicles. Total work support provided by National Grid teams exceeded 30,000 hours over a five-day period.

“Emergency response is a hallmark of our industry and our company. We take great pride in serving our customers in New York and New England and in supporting other utilities—within our local region and as far away as Puerto Rico—following all types of devastating weather events,” said Ken Daly, National Grid’s Chief Operating Officer, Electric. “The men and women of National Grid’s electric team are honored to receive EEI recognition for their tireless restoration efforts and commitment to customers.”

Here are the EEI awards National Grid has earned over the years:

  • Recovery Award for the upstate New York ice storm (1998)
  • Recovery Award for severe thunderstorm activity in downstate New York (1998)
  • Hurricane Wilma assistance (2005)
  • “October Surprise” snowstorm in western New York (2006)
  • Eastern New York ice storm (2008)
  • 2010 Nor’ Easter (2010)
  • Hurricane Sandy (2012)
  • Central New York ice storm (2014)
  • Upstate New York macroburst (2015)
  • Assistance to other utilities after northeastern and Long Island thunderstorms (2015)
  • Assistance during Long Island winter storm (2016)
  • New England snowstorm (2016)
  • Western New York windstorm (2017)
  • Winter Storm Stella (2017)
  • Assistance to New York State Electric and Gas after tornadoes touched down in New York (2017)
  • Response to Hurricane Irma in Florida – supporting other utilities (2017)
  • Eastern New York macroburst (2017)
  • Support to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (2017–2018)
  • Upstate New York windstorm (2018)
  • Support to other utilities after hurricanes Riley and Quinn (2018)
  • Restoration efforts in National Grid service area after hurricanes Riley and Quinn (2018)
  • Assistance provided to other utilities after thunderstorms, macroburst and tornadoes hit the northeast region (2019)

“Storms are part of the job in upstate New York, but looking back on the awards National Grid has received over the years makes me proud of the work our crews have done and the hours they have put in to restoring power to hundreds of thousands of customers across the United States and Puerto Rico,” said Keith McAfee, National Grid’s New York vice president of overhead electric lines.

To help customers and others track local and regional weather action, National Grid’s Outage Central website enables real-time monitoring of storm activity and outages.


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