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UPDATE: Power Restored For 1,100 In South…

690,000 Still Without Power in PSE&G's NJ Service Area

But company officials stressed they are doing everything to restore electrical power throughout the state.

Slow, but sure: that's the statement PSE&G wants customers without power to know about how they're gradually restoring service throughout their New Jersey energy territory.

There are 690,000 still without electrical service in the four days since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Garden State. "That's too big a number from our point of view," said Ralph LaRosa, PSE&G chief operating officer who was on a media call to provide updates as to how the utility is progressing.

Their areas of focus, LaRosa said, include restoring service to the four refineries in the northern part of the state. "We want to free up the bottleneck so gasoline can flow," he said. 

Electrical service was restored to ConocoPhillips and another refinery, which should eventually start shipments of gasoline to relieve gas lines around the state. The Colonial Pipeline in the Avenel section of Woodbridge and another in Bayonne are still without service, LaRosa said.

Without power

In Middlesex County, there are 78,500 people still without power. Almost 70 percent of South Brunswick remains without power

Power coming on in parts of South Brunswick is an indication that distribution circuits need work, but it's also "a good example" of what customers can expect to see as electric service starts to come back, LaRosa said.

He wouldn't give specifics about when the township would have full restoration of service. 

"If we were to give a global estimate restoration time, it'd be next Friday," LaRosa said. "We're unable to go town by town."

Not making any promises

None of the PSE&G officials were making any promises about when power would be restored, but if there's a silver lining, it would be that some of the flooded out substations have been energized, such as one in Bayonne.

The northern part of New Jersey experienced the worst conditions for power restoration because of felled trees and downed power lines. Those issues make it impossible for utility workers to safely get to areas that need their help.

In Hoboken, which still has standing water in the streets, "we can't put a human life at risk," LaRosa said. 

Bergen and Passaic counties have been hardest hit, said Ralph Izzo, PSE&G chairman. They are focusing on working with municipal and county officials to clear up roadways and give the utility company workers access to equipment. The installation of lower voltage equipment in Hudson and Essex counties should "bring back" service to customers in those areas later today, Izzo said.

LaRosa was also anxious to "dispel myths," such as one that PSE&G had turned away utility workers from Alabama who had driven to New Jersey to help, because they were non-union employees.

"It's not true," LaRosa said. "It's misinformation. We aren't turning people away."


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Sam November 03, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Even a third world country never had a power situation like this.. Shame on the system. There is no reason in the world not being able to restore power to a township for over a week and may be more. Just the inefficiencies in a large organization like PS&G and totally unprepared to handle beyond a minor nick nack.


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