North Fort Myers, FL, December 14, 2022 – LCEC CEO Denise Vidal will co-lead a session at the Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum in Tampa on January 6, 2023, to discuss the collaboration and mutual aid that fueled the post-Hurricane Ian power restoration process in southwest Florida. She will be joined by Melissa Seixas, President of Duke Energy Florida, in a Friday morning session titled, “Reflections: From Tragedy to Collaboration and Mutual Aid.”
“Hurricane Ian was the most devastating event we’ve ever experienced, personally and professionally,” said Vidal. LCEC has more than 400 employees – many of who were without power themselves and worked around the clock to restore power after the storm. “We would not be where we are today without the strong support from our partners and friends throughout the country who pitched in to help when it was most needed.”
After Hurricane Ian made landfall, LCEC accepted aid from more than 50 electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities, including Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy. More than 2,500 crews worked tirelessly together to restore power to the affected communities as quickly as possible, bringing electricity back to more than 90 percent of the homeowners who could receive power less than 14 days after landfall.
During the forum, Vidal will also discuss infrastructure improvements that were made since earlier storms and how those improvements, along with innovative partnerships and mutual aid, dramatically changed the landscape of post-disaster power restoration, creating a model for future use.
The three-day event in Tampa, beginning on January 4, highlights women leaders in the energy industry. The annual forum attracts world-class talent for wide-ranging discussions on a variety of energy-related topics.