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PSE&G Service Restoration Update – Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
- Outages: 70,000 remain from Hurricane Sandy; 40,000 from the nor’easter Athena.
- Despite the snowstorm, the 4,000 out of state workers and 700 PSE&G technicians restored service to more than 120,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sandy in the past 24 hours. Many of our crews from the south have never worked in snow before but have proven more than capable of handling this new challenge.
- Athena affected service to more than 90,000 customers since about noontime Wednesday. Because of the work we have done this week, we have restored about 50,000 of those customers as of this morning.
PSE&G expects to continue to restore customers still impacted by Hurricane Sandy as well as respond to outages caused by last night’s storm.
- When repairing damaged lines in an area, we may need to take a line out of service temporarily for safety reasons. Power will be restored as soon as it is safe to do so. We ask for customers’ understanding when this occurs.
- Customers may see a variety of vehicles at various damage locations. These trucks are staffed with standby personnel, gas workers, meter readers, and support people who are assisting the restoration effort by keeping the public away from downed wires and other electrical equipment while line crews are making repairs at other locations.
- There currently is no shortage of materials. However, this is an incredible restoration job so we continue to seek materials so we can be covered in case the damage in some areas turns out to be greater than anticipated. FEMA has offered to get materials for us and we will take advantage of that offer.
- Crews are working 16-hour days, with mandated rest periods and meal breaks.
- Since the start of the storm, PSE&G call centers have handled more than 1.9 million calls (more than 12 times the normal volume). We have suspended non-emergency work so that more workers are available to respond to customer calls.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS USING GENERATORS AT HOME
We are reading media reports about people who have become ill or died from carbon monoxide poisoning or fires resulting from the use of generators in their homes. Anyone using portable electric generators must be sure to carefully read and follow the manual that came with the generator. Be sure your generator is UL-approved, installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by your local electrical inspector. There must be a way to physically disconnect your generator from utility lines. Generators should not be operated inside a dwelling or building. Customers who improperly install, operate or maintain a generator are risking their lives and the lives of their neighbors and utility workers.
Some frequently ask Questions from our customers:
Q. Why are my neighbors back and I’m not?
A. Homes very near to each other can be fed from different circuits. One of them may be damaged and not the other. It’s also possible that one part of a circuit is damaged while other sections are not. Circuits from a station usually have two sections. If one section is damaged, we can open a breaker to stop the flow of electricity to that section while keeping the other section in service.
Q. I hardly ever lose power. Why am I out now?
A. These are conditions we haven’t experienced in decades. Damage to switching stations, the backbone of the system, was extensive, and there were unusual amounts of damage to the transmission lines that bring power to the distribution system. If there is no power to their feeder station then their particular circuit will have no power. This storm also took an unusually high number of trees down, greatly increasing the number of customers affected and the amount of time it takes to bring power back.
Q. Why don’t I see anyone working on this?
A. We have to fix the transmission and substation issues first, or no power will flow to the circuits that serve you. Much of the work that goes into getting your power back is done out of sight. We have unprecedented amounts of tree damage that caused many circuit faults. Once we have transmission and substations restored, we prioritize jobs that involve critical infrastructure (such as hospitals and police stations) and those that have the most number of customers affected. With damage this severe, it is taking time but we are working our way through that process.
Q. Why don’t you know when my power will be back?
A. Under normal circumstances we know how long it takes to respond to reports of problems and restore service. This is not your average storm. Hurricane Sandy has caused twice the damage as Hurricane Irene. This means that even assessing the damage is slow, with new information constantly filling in the picture of the conditions that need to be addressed. We’ve also continued to bring additional out-of-state crews to help, and move them around to the areas they are needed most.
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 Reliability One 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).