Storm Hardening and Resiliency Initiative

Hurricane Isaias, initially classified as a Category 1 storm, impacted the East Coast from July 30 to August 5, 2020, making landfall on Long Island as a tropical storm generating winds exceeding 70 MPH. This event led to the collapse of over a thousand trees, numerous utility poles, and electric lines, resulting in widespread road closures, disruptions to the Long Island Railroad, and impacts on the functioning of communities at all levels. The aftermath left more than 645,000 residential and commercial customers without power, affecting essential municipal and life-sustaining services.

CHA provided engineering design services for a storm hardening and resiliency initiative to fortify communities and critical infrastructure against the most challenging weather events. This initiative aimed to enhance storm resilience across 178 circuits of mainline distribution spanning 450 miles and mitigate customer service interruptions.

The project team included approximately 40 professionals from CHA’s electric distribution, asset management, environmental, aviation planning and programming, and owner’s project management teams. We leveraged technology, including a tablet-based mobile data collection tool for real-time data access and a web-based project dashboard for efficient collaboration. We also helped grow and develop minority vendor relationships through the contributions of three diversity subcontractors. This collaborative effort resulted in the timely completion of all Hazard Mitigation Plans according to the demanding 7-month schedule.

CHA previously redesigned circuits that were impacted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Those circuits have demonstrated exceptional performance through recent storms, with storm hardened circuits yielding a 48% reduction in damages leading to outages. The program has enhanced the health, safety, and welfare of storm-impacted communities, sustaining necessary government and life-serving functions when needed most by the community.

Project summary

450 mi.

There are 450 miles of electric distribution.


Design includes 178 electric distribution circuits.


Redesigned circuits yielded a 48% reduction in damages.

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Andrew Kinley

Andrew Kinley
Business Practice Leader, Electric Distribution

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Andrew serves as CHA’s Business Practice Leader for our Electric Distribution team. Over his more than two decades with CHA, Andrew has worked on electric and gas distribution projects for utility companies, such as National Grid, Baltimore Gas and Electric, and Central Hudson Gas and Electric.