MORRISTOWN, N.J, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has positioned more than 1,250 line workers, hazard responders, forestry workers and support personnel to respond to outages resulting from the latest severe storm impacting the region.
Heavy rain and snow, accompanied by strong winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour, are moving through New Jersey today and tomorrow. High tides also have the potential to increase coastal flooding. Crews and support personnel are working around-the-clock across JCP&L's service territory to restore service from weather-related outages. As of 4 p.m. today, approximately 10,000 customers were experiencing outages due to the high winds. Outage restoration may be slowed initially as crews assess the ability to work safely in elevated buckets during high winds.
To minimize the storm's impact on electrical equipment, crews have placed sandbags around substations that could be threatened by flooding. These include substations in Monmouth, Ocean and Essex counties. In addition, flood gates have been closed at the Morristown substation.
To prepare for the storm JCP&L has also:
- Brought in more than 150 line personnel and hazard responders from FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities and 140 contractor line personnel to support restoration efforts
- Secured 150 tree contractor crews to respond to tree-related conditions
- Communicated with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and local officials about our storm preparation efforts
- Activated the JCP&L storm information page on the 24/7 Power Center
- Notified well water and life support customers about the potential for power outages.
JCP&L customers can also utilize a new free smartphone app to report outages and access important information and services related to their electric accounts. The app is available for Apple® iPhone® and Android™ smartphones. Customers can use the keyword "FirstEnergy" to locate the apps in the online store. A new mobile website is also available to customers who use a smartphone to visit www.jcp-l.com.
FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed. Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com.
For updated information on the company's current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. JCP&L customers can find the latest information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or on Twitter @JCP_L.
Customers can take the following steps to prepare for the possibility of outages caused by winter storms:
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when the power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
- Customers should immediately report downed wires to their local utility or local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Don't try to remove trees or tree limbs from power lines. Wait for utility crews to arrive.
- Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.