As Hurricane Sandy approaches the Jersey Shore, more than 30,000 customers of Atlantic City Electric in Manahawkin and surrounding areas are without power, and it could be several days before power is restored, according to the company’s regional president.
Vince Maione noted that according to OSHA standards, lineman are not permitted to begin restoration work on lines until winds drop below 35 miles per hour, and since this is not predicted to occur for another few days, it is likely restoration will take several days to complete, possibly up to a week. The company will be resonding to downed power lines as reports come in, he said.
Maione noted that Atlantic City Electric has activated all its field personnel including utility crews from states as far away as Alabama and Louisiana to assist with restoring power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
In a prepared statement, Atlantic City Electric’s parent company, Pepco Holdings Inc., announced it has requested 3,700 outside crew members through the utility mutual assistance process, and has received commitments for 1,473 crew members, some of whom arrived today. Atlantic City Electric has set up a staging area for personnel and materials at the Atlantic City Race Course in Mays Landing, NJ. Crews will be deployed based upon greatest damage and need.
In addition, non-field employees have assumed special storm roles to support the restoration, according to the statement. These roles include damage assessors, crew guides and additional staff to answer customer calls.
“We have activated our strategic response plan for this event and frequently train and exercise the plan throughout the year,” Maione said.
In response to customer feedback, there are a number of new online and mobile tools to track and report outages. Atlantic City Electric urges customers to view their utility website at AtlanticCityElectric.com/storm to learn more about these tools as well as to view safety and storm preparation tips. Call 1-800-833-7476 to report an outage, downed wires and life-threatening situations.