Westar garners award for responses to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma

Westar Energy trucks line up is September as employees prepare to respond to Hurricane Irma. (SUBMITTED)

Westar Energy has received the Edison Electric Institute’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for helping in the response to Hurricane Harvey in August and then Hurricane Irma in September.

“For years, utilities have pulled together to restore power for customers after devastating storms,” said Bruce Akin, senior vice president for power delivery for Westar, in a statement on Wednesday. “We are glad to help our fellow utilities in their time of need, and we rest better knowing we can depend on them if we need help.”

“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,” Tom Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute, said in the same statement. “When Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck, Westar Energy answered the calls to help. Westar Energy’s assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action.”

According to EEI, the winners of the “Emergency Assistance Award” were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process.

An estimated 45 Westar employees went to Houston in August to assist with power restoration following Hurricane Harvey, according to information provided by Westar, while 90 Westar employees restored power after Hurricane Irma. In addition, hundreds of line contractors and tree trimming contractors who usually work in Westar’s service area also responded to help after the hurricanes.

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