The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has awarded Liberty New Hampshire the EEI Emergency Response Award for recovery efforts associated with Winter Storm Elliott, a high wind and heavy rainstorm that left thousands of Granite Staters without power just two days before the Christmas holiday.

“This storm was the fifth largest to hit our service area – and right before Christmas weekend. Thanks to the knowledge, skillset, teamwork, and dedication of the team members here in New Hampshire, we were able to restore service to all customers in time for Christmas celebrations,” said Neil Proudman, Liberty NH President.

Throughout the course of the event, Liberty responded to more than 200 incidents that left nearly 9,000 Liberty customers without power. Restoration efforts for this event were challenged by the scarcity of mutual aid crews due the impending holiday weekend and much of the northeast being hit by the storm. The driving factor behind Liberty’s success in responding to the outages stemmed from the company’s unwavering dedication to emergency preparedness.

“Before any major storm arrives in our service territory, we activate our Incident Command Structure (ICS), which brings together all key players across the business to ensure we are prepared to respond quickly and safely to any system impacts,” said Anthony Strabone, senior director of electric operations. “We have seen time and time again that our pre-planning work and the regular drills are key ingredients in the formula for resiliency.”

Even without many additional crews, Liberty’s electric crews, with support from Gas Operations and numerous other departments, had all Liberty customers restored before Christmas – almost 24 hours before expected. Once Liberty’s restoration efforts were complete, several line crews then volunteered, as part of mutual aid, to help other NH utilities with their own restoration efforts.

“Ensuring the safety of our customers, communities, and crews is our industry’s top priority. Safety is especially critical during severe storms and extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms,” said EEI President and CEO Tom Kuhn. “I commend Liberty’s commitment to restoring service for its customers safely and efficiently under challenging conditions following Winter Storm Elliott. Liberty and its storm response team are extremely deserving of this national recognition, and I am honored to present them with this well-earned recovery award.”