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PSE&G storm update – Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

PSE&G storm update – Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
November 1 2012

–Outage update: At this time approximately 950,000 PSE&G customers have had their power restored following Hurricane Sandy. About 781,000 customers are currently without power.  The storm impacted 1.7 million of PSE&G’s 2.2 million electric customers.

— Our best forecast as of now is that we will have virtually all of our impacted customers restored to service within the next seven to 10 days. The majority of customers will be restored before then.  There may still be isolated pockets of customers who have individual flooding or downed line issues that may take slightly longer.

— The storm surge flooded a large number of substations along the Passaic, Hackensack and Hudson rivers, and the Arthur Kill, disrupting service to customers in Hudson, Essex and Middlesex counties. The magnitude of the flooding in contiguous areas is unprecedented. PSE&G had to take these stations out of service, wait for the flood waters to recede to assess the damage, dry out the equipment, replace equipment when necessary and re-energize the system to restore service. We continue to make progress on the substations affected by flood waters from the tidal surge.  This is a painstaking process to thoroughly clean the equipment so theta it can be safely re-energized.

— PSE&G has assembled a “virtual army” of over 1,730 technicians – 600 PSE&G workers and 1,050 workers from across the country — plus an additional 600 contractors to cut and remove trees. We continue to secure whatever resources become available to us from other  utilities; additional crews from the Midwest are arriving this afternoon.

— Many of the outages were 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.

PSE&G is distributing free ice and water to customers without power at the following locations on a first come, first served basis between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm:

Elizabeth Customer Service Center, 550 N. Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202
West Orange Customer Service Center, 59 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052
Paramus Park Mall 700 Paramus Park Paramus, NJ 07652 Next To Macy’s behind the Crown Plaza
Burlington Customer Service Center (PSE&G lot across the street from CSC), 501 High Street, Burlington, NJ 08016

— 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 has been fully staffed on a 24-hour basis to handle calls from customers. Other employees are assisting 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.

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