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October 26, 2012

PSE&G storm update – Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

(October 27, 2012 – Newark, NJ) - -- Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) continues to monitor the track of Hurricane Sandy and is finalizing emergency preparations.

-- The massive “storm on steroids” as depicted by forecasters is expected to bring heavy rain, strong sustained winds and flooding to our service territory as early as late Sunday with the full brunt of the storm hitting the area Monday afternoon into Tuesday.

-- PSE&G is advising customers that based on the current forecasts, between 500,000 and 1 million of the utility’s 2.2 million electric customers could experience a power outage as a result of the damaging winds and heavy rain.

-- PSE&G crews will be ready to respond to outages as soon as the heavy winds subside and it is safe to work in bucket trucks and other equipment. Depending on conditions and the extent of damage, full restoration could take more than 7 days.

-- To aid in restoration, about 1,000 utility workers and contractors will begin arriving tomorrow from states that include Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Missouri and Quebec, Canada. PSE&G is working to secure additional resources that may be needed depending on the amount of damage and outages.

-- Crews work around the clock to repair equipment and restore power. The utility’s call center also will be fully staffed on a 24-hour basis to handle calls from customers. Other employees will assist with assessing storm damage, keeping the public away from any downed power lines and other functions that support restoration efforts.

Storm response improvements:

Since Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm in 2011, PSE&G has made additional investments in our electric delivery system to help withstand storms.

  • Replaced older 26,000-volt lines with lines capable of carrying 69,000 volts. These lines provide greater protection against lightning strikes and can better withstand wind and rain.
  • Spent $28 million pruning trees away from power lines.
  • Tightened coordination with county Offices of Emergency Management to ensure that public officials have the latest information on outages and restoration progress.
  • Made a number of improvements to our automated call answering systems.

Customer safety and preparedness tips:

-- It’s wise to have an emergency kit on hand year round.  Here are some things to include:

  • A battery powered radio.
  • A corded telephone (cordless phones will not work if the power is out)
  • Flashlights and extra fresh batteries.
  • A first-aid kit.
  • Bottled water and an adequate supply of non-perishable food.
  • A non-electric can opener.
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags.

-- Stay away from downed power lines. To report downed wires or power outages, call PSE&G’s Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG.  PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G are encouraged to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destination quickly. The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. If you have specific information regarding damage to wires, transformers or poles, we ask that you speak with a representative to provide that information. 

-- Customers with a handheld device, or who are at an alternate location with power, can also report power outages and view the status of their outage by logging in to My Account at www.pseg.com.  General outage activity throughout our service territory is available online at www.pseg.com/outagecenter and updates are posted on www.pseg.com during severe weather.

-- PSE&G will activate its Twitter page to keep the public informed about our restoration progress. Sign up as a follower at http://twitter.com/psegdelivers to monitor restoration progress.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).  

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Media Contact: Karen Johnson

Phone: 973-430-7734

Contact for customers & others:

Phone: 1-800-436-7734

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