ASHLAND, Ky., October 9, 2018 – About 100 Kentucky Power employees and contractors left Tuesday for Florida to assist with any outages that could result from Hurricane Michael. The storm is forecast to make landfall Wednesday with winds up to 120 mph, life-threatening storm surge and heavy rain.
Company line mechanics and contract crews, including workers with Davis H. Elliott and 5 Star Electric, will assist Gulf Power in northwest Florida. Kentucky Power assessors will assist Duke Energy Florida, based in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The assistance is part of the mutual assistance program. Under this voluntary partnership of investor-owned electric companies, utilities commit to help restore power when assistance is required during major outages. The decades-old program allows electric companies unaffected by a major event, such as in a hurricane or snowstorm, to provide help to those in need. Mutual assistance allows electric companies affected by a major event to dramatically increase the size of their workforce by borrowing highly skilled employees from those unaffected by the outage. The receiving companies pay the expenses of the traveling crews, not Kentucky Power customers.
“We are happy to be able to help our peer companies,” said Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite. “Mutual assistance is an essential part of the electric power industry, allowing Kentucky Power and other utilities to respond quickly in emergencies that can lead to significant damage to the energy grid.
The loss of power in this or any disaster really stresses the value of electricity and makes it a lot easier for people to understand the value of the services electric companies provide their customers. We are vital to living in America.”
Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides service to about 168,000 customers in all or part of 20 eastern Kentucky counties, including Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike and
Rowan. Kentucky Power is an operating company in the American Electric Power system, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system.
AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.