Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PSE&G Update

PSE&G Restoration Update - Nov. 5, 2012 9:30 p.m.

PSE&G continues to make progress restoring customers - about 80 percent of the 1.7 million customers affected by Hurricane Sandy have been restored. The number of outages is now 340,000.

We have now restored 98 percent of our customers in our Southern region that includes portions of Burlington, Mercer, Camden and Gloucester counties. As work is completed, crews in South Jersey will be reassigned to work in other parts of the state.

There are two substations that remain without power, both in Hudson County. We are working to have them energized tonight or early tomorrow. Restoring the substations is a critical step in allowing us to power the distribution systems that bring electricity to customers' homes.

At the request of the Governor, we have provided details on our work plan that are available on our website (pseg.com/workplan). Note that the plan is a snapshot in time showing the estimated number of customers expected to be restored based on work currently assigned and will change based on emergent conditions and the need to reprioritize work.

Some current restoration statistics:

We have restored power to all refineries, and 84 percent of the gas stations in our service territory have power.

88 percent of schools in our service territory have power.

We are working with local officials to target restoration of power for polling stations where possible.

Mobile Customer Service Centers: To provide relief to communities hit particularly hard by this storm, PSE&G has established Mobile Customer Service Centers (CSCs). These locations are providing ice, drinking water, food and power strips for recharging devices free of charge to our customers. PSE&G representatives are staffing these centers to provide customers information about our efforts to restore power.

TownLocationHours of Ops

HobokenCVS Parking Lot 59 Washington Ave.8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

ParamusParamus Park Mall  8 a.m - 4 p.m.

Plainfield   518 Watchung Ave  8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

In addition to the mobile centers, PSE&G will begin a phased reopening of its regular Customer Service Centers around the state. On Tuesday, Bayonne, Camden, New Brunswick, North Hudson, Passaic, Paterson, Perth Amboy and West Orange will open. On Wednesday, Burlington, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark and Trenton will reopen.


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.

Frequently asked 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 time consuming, 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.

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