PSE&G is reporting about 4,000 customers without power in the early stages of Hurricane Sandy. The majority – about 3,000 – are located in the utility’s southern counties of Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester. The utility provides electric service to 2.2 million customers.
The utility is urging customers to prepare for the possibility of lengthy outages – perhaps seven days or more -- due to the enormity of Hurricane Sandy, which forecasters predict may become the worst storm to hit the Northeast in 100 years.
It may take until Wednesday until a full assessment of the storm’s damage can be made and the utility can more accurately predict when full restoration can be made.
Other news in the latest PSE&G update from the company:
- PSE&G will be ready to respond to outages as soon as the strong winds subside and it is safe to work in bucket trucks and other equipment. Flooding and downed trees also can make it hard for crews to get to damage locations. We work closely with towns and counties to clear roads so that we can respond.
- To aid in restoration, PSE&G has secured 653 line workers from other utilities to assist PSE&G’s 600 linemen in restoring power. In addition, PSE&G has secured 526 tree contractors to clear damaged trees and limbs from power lines. Crews have been arriving from Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia and New Jersey, as well as Canada. PSE&G is working to secure additional resources that may be needed depending on the amount of damage and outages.
- Many of the outages are caused by falling trees and limbs, which bring down power lines. Downed wires should always be considered “live.” STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. To report a downed wire and other visible equipment damage, call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street. To report a power outage, call PSE&G’s Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG.
- In addition to widespread electric outages, PSE&G expects the heavy rain and predicted storm surge to result in gas outages. Water could enter the utility’s gas distribution system, as well as flood customers’ basements and gas appliances. Customers are reminded to call PSE&G to report gas odors, and contact their local fire department and municipal construction office to receive assistance in pumping the water out of their basements.
- Customers with wells are advised to have a supply of bottled drinking water on hand, and should fill the bathtub with water for sanitary purposes.
- 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.
- Electric crews work to restore power to the largest numbers of customers first, taking into account “priority” customers, such as hospitals, police stations, fire stations, water and sewer facilities, communications facilities (TV, radio, and telephone), and customers on life-sustaining medical equipment. At the same time, the utility restores power to homes and businesses, starting with the circuits serving the largest number of customers.
- 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 pseg.com. General outage activity throughout our service territory is available online at www.pseg.com/outagecenter and updates are posted on pseg.com during severe weather.
- PSE&G has activated 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.