Restoring power quickly and safely to residents and businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has earned the city of Leesburg Electric Department a Restoring Communities Award from the Florida Municipal Electric Association.
Leesburg Electric was among 20 Florida municipal electric utilities honored for their work to restore power within their communities and for sending aid to their fellow municipal electric utilities after the hurricane in October 2016, a city news release states.
The awards were based on restoration times, customer communications efforts, and the levels of mutual aid provided. Leesburg Electric will receive its award April 22 at the 17th annual Florida Lineman Competition in Lakeland.
“It is rewarding and inspiring to see how quickly and professionally our crews and support staff responded to the needs of their fellow citizens in restoring power outages during the hurricane,” Leesburg Mayor Bob Bone says in the release. “Our Electric Department is truly dedicated and underscores the commitment that the city has to keeping our citizens safe.”
After taking care of things at home, Leesburg Electric Department crews assisted other cities.
“Our members have been standing side-by-side for 75 years, and that history of service to one another really shone through when we were facing the tough challenges of two back-to-back hurricanes and widespread power outages,” FMEA interim Executive Director Amy Zubaly says in the release. “It’s that spirit of collaboration, cooperation and community that we are honoring with these awards.”
Leesburg has more than 21,000 residents, and the city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities.