Cleco receives Emergency Assistance Award

WASHINGTON — The Edison Electric Institute recently honored Cleco with the association’s 2012 Emergency Assistance Award for the company’s efforts to help other electric utilities restore power following major storms in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

Cleco helped American Electric Power restore power after a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm called a “derecho” hit the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions in June. The company later helped Baltimore Gas & Electric and First Energy in New Jersey restore power after Super Storm Sandy, a category two hurricane, battered the Northeast in October.

The award recognizes extraordinary efforts to help another utility company restore electric service after severe weather conditions or other natural events. “Cleco’s restoration assistance following the derecho in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions and Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast was truly remarkable,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.

“Getting the lights back on quickly and safely following a major storm is never easy. Working through the industry’s mutual assistance program, Cleco’s crews were essential in helping their fellow utility companies restore service in affected neighborhoods. Importantly, Cleco’s assistance also shows their compassion in helping others in their time of need. I congratulate them,” Kuhn said.

“As an electric utility in the Southeast, we’ve been hit by a number of hurricanes, so we know the importance of mutual assistance when faced with massive reconstruction after a major storm,” said Bruce Williamson, president and CEO of Cleco Corporation. “We are glad we could lend a hand, and we are honored to receive this recognition.”

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