11/02/12 Early Thursday morning, approximately 80 NIPSCO employee volunteers headed east to assist with the Hurricane Sandy restoration efforts. An estimated 6 million customers from Ohio to New Jersey remained without power Wednesday afternoon.
These volunteers will provide assistance to FirstEnergy, which serves several of the areas most impacted by the storm – including eastern Ohio, where NIPSCO crews will be stationed. At the peak, First Energy had 2.2 million customers out of power. As members of a 13-state mutual aid agreement, FirstEnergy and NIPSCO have assisted each other during past major outage events.
“Our hearts go out to those experiencing the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy,” said Mike Finissi, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We are proud to see our coworkers, who have the skills to lend meaningful assistance, step up and volunteer to leave their families and homes to help others in their time of need.”
The team is prepared to lend help with patrolling lines, surveying damage and repairing broken poles and downed lines. In addition to NIPSCO crews, the company released outside resources from electric line and tree trimming contractors to provide extra support.
Early this week, NIPSCO made preparations for potential challenges caused by the inland effects of Hurricane Sandy on northern Indiana, including scheduling additional work crews to handle system problems and increasing staffing at the customer call center. The majority of the approximately 6,000 NIPSCO electric customers who experienced disruptions in service were restored within 24 hours.