NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) Company, New Jersey's largest electric and gas utility, is continuing to closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Sandy and is ramping up emergency preparations. Although the storm is now tracking further south, it is still expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds and flooding to our service territory. At this time, Hurricane Sandy is expected to begin impacting New Jersey as early as late Sunday with the full brunt of the storm hitting the area Monday into Tuesday.
In anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, PSE&G has requested more than 1,300 linemen and 600 tree contractors from utilities in other states to assist our highly skilled crews. The utility's call center will be fully staffed 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.
Since Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm in 2011, PSE&G has made additional investments in our electric delivery system to help withstand storms.
- Replaced older 26,000-volt lines with lines capable of carrying 69,000 volts. These lines provide greater protection against lightning strikes and can better withstand wind and rain.
- Spent about $28 million pruning trees away from power lines.
- Tightened coordination with county Offices of Emergency Management to ensure that public officials have the latest information on outages and restoration progress.
- Compiled a list of school administrators and superintendents to contact in case schools are affected by outages.
- Made some improvements to our automated call answering systems.
Just as the utility is preparing for Hurricane Sandy, we urge our customers to do the same. It's wise to have an emergency kit on hand year round. Here are some things to include:
- A battery powered radio.
- A corded telephone (cordless phones will not work if the power is out)
- Flashlights and extra fresh batteries.
- A first-aid kit.
- Bottled water and an adequate supply of non-perishable food.
- A non-electric can opener.
- Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
- A list of emergency phone numbers, including PSE&G's Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG.
A storm like Hurricane Sandy has the potential to interrupt service. High winds might cause trees to brush up against power lines, and lightning could strike and damage trees or pole-top equipment. There also is the potential for trees to be uprooted.
Depending on the severity of the storm, response times for both electric and gas emergency services may be longer than usual. PSE&G asks for our customers' patience and cooperation as we work to safely restore service as quickly as possible. As the storm gets closer, the utility will provide information about estimated restoration times.
To report downed wires or power outages, customers should call PSE&G's Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG. PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G are encouraged to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destination quickly. The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. If you have specific information regarding damage to wires, transformers or poles, we ask that you speak with a representative to provide that information.
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.
In addition, PSE&G will activate 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.
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 ReliabilityOne 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)
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SOURCE Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)