After the Storm
The storms that rumbled through southern and central New Jersey on July 22 left a quarter-million PSE&G customers without lights or air conditioning. Those people were counting on us to get their electricity back on as quickly and as safely as possible.
It’s a challenge we prepare for year-round. No one wants to sit in the dark, without air conditioning, in 90-degree weather.
Restoration work of this size is challenging. It takes an incredible amount of strategic collaboration and hard work to ensure the jobs get done safely and that customers stay informed. Our employees take great pride in knowing that our company is among the best utilities at restoring power to customers after major storms. It’s an around-the-clock effort. Everyone comes together as a team with the attitude of ‘what can I do to help?’
Resources deployed safely and quickly
All available PSE&G resources were deployed to quickly and safely repair the storm damage. In addition to PSE&G’s 1,900 service personnel (includes line workers, tree services, engineers, customer service representatives, etc.), more than 1,000 workers from out-of-state utilities and contractors assisted in the restoration. The process gives priority to returning electric service to the greatest number of customers as quickly as possible; repairs are made based on the number of customers affected.
Customers sometimes ask us, ‘Why are the crews just sitting in their trucks?’ Our crews in the field work closely with our operational team to ensure power lines are de-energized before restoration work can begin, and sometimes they have to wait to ensure it is safe to begin.
As part of storm management, PSE&G remained in regular communication with state, county and municipal officials, emergency management offices and critical customers, which include police/fire departments, health care facilities, schools, sewage pumping stations, other utilities and customers who require life-saving medical equipment.
Keeping customers informed
Communication with our customers during outages is just as important as repairing the system during restoration. We understand our customers want accurate information about when power will be restored. Customers have multiple ways to stay connected with us – phone (800-436-7734), our website, Facebook or Twitter, and even via text. Customers who sign up for MyAlerts and provide a cell phone number can easily report an outage via text and get immediate updates.
For the most recent storm, PSE&G established mobile customer service centers in the hardest-hit areas, offering a place to cool off and free water and ice to anyone without power. Customer service liaisons also made deliveries directly to some of the customers who experienced the longest power outages.
A big thanks to all
While storms that create massive damage can challenge utilities, we want to recognize the hard work by everyone who contributed to the safe and quick restoration. Thanks to the Burlington Center Mall property owners and managers who provided staging space: LIT Burlington Mall, Clarion Partners, Cushman & Wakefield U.S., and MRP Industrial NE.
Our mutual aid partners included: National Grid; Riggs Distler; Holland Power Services; TriWire Engineering Solutions; ON TARGET; Northern Line Construction; Sargent Electric; Northline Utilities; Green Mountain Power; Henkels & McCoy; Hawk-Eye Innovations; Asplundh Construction; O’Connell Electric Co.; Ferguson; Harlan Electric Co.; M. J. Electric; J.W. Didado Electric; Haugland Energy; and Elecnor Hawkeye.
PSE&G employees are dedicated, responsive and focused on customer needs, so we thank them and all of our partners for a job well done. We’re proud of the restoration and the reliability of our system, which helped mitigate the storm’s impact. PSE&G keeps the power on more than 99 percent of the time and it’s important that we perform well when faced with such challenges.