Progress Energy Carolinas Sending Crews to Assist in Aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina
RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Progress Energy Carolinas is deploying more than 480 employees and contractors to its western North Carolina service area and on to the Gulf Coast states to assist in power restoration in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The company is sending line, service and tree crews, damage assessment teams and support personnel to the impacted areas.
As part of Progress Energy's mutual-aid agreement with the regional utility companies that comprise the Southeastern Electric Exchange, crews will depart from various North Carolina and South Carolina locations Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning and travel first to western North Carolina to support local crews in the event Katrina's remnants cause flooding and power outages for Progress Energy customers. Once Progress Energy customers are back in service, many of those crews will then continue on to Covington, La., to assist CLECO Corp., a central Louisiana-based electric utility company, in its restoration efforts.
"So far, Progress Energy's service territory has been spared the brunt of Katrina's winds and rain," said Lee Mazzocchi, Progress Energy's system storm coordinator. "Other utilities, including those from Louisiana and Mississippi, have assisted our company and our customers after major storms in the Carolinas and Florida. We know how important it is to have as many people as possible helping to get the lights back on."
Katrina initially made landfall Thursday night and knocked out power to more than 1.4 million South Florida residents. About 200 Progress Energy Florida employee and contract crews have been assisting Florida Power & Light with its restoration efforts in South Florida. Katrina is now lashing the Gulf Coast states, including Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, and millions of power outages are expected.
"We appreciate our customers' patience on service requests that don't involve outages or emergencies, as our crews are away assisting those in need in Mississippi and Louisiana," Mazzocchi said. "We're committed to ensuring any delays are minimal in those non-emergency situations."
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. The company's holdings include two electric utilities serving more than 2.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Progress Energy also includes nonregulated operations covering competitive generation, energy marketing, natural gas production and fuel extraction. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at http://www.progress-energy.com.
SOURCE Progress Energy, Inc.
CONTACT: Progress Energy 24-hour media line, +1-919-546-6189, or +1-877-641-6397 -0- Aug/29/2005 16:45 GMT