PSE&G Advises Customers to be Prepared for Possible Wide-spread Power Outages Due to Severe Winter Weather
PSE&G is advising customers to be prepared for possible wide-spread and lengthy power outages as a result of the major winter storm that is currently hitting its service territory. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings throughout New Jersey until Wednesday evening. Significant snow and ice accumulations are possible in some areas.
Keep abreast of outage updates
While PSE&G has extra personnel and supplies on hand for electric and gas storm-related emergencies, the utility believes there is the potential for wide-spread and lengthy power outages.
"If weather forecasts are correct, we could experience significant damage to our power lines due to icing and tree issues," said PSE&G President and COO Ralph LaRossa. "Depending on the severity of the damage, response times for both electric and gas emergencies may be longer. Dangerous icing conditions may make it difficult for our utility crews to safely travel to restore service. We ask that customers be patient."
Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow or icing can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down. And cold weather can affect the number of calls we receive from customers with insufficient or no heat.
PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G should not hesitate to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destinations. The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. Customers are asked to use this option if they are calling to report damage to wires, transformers or poles. This will help PSE&G to restore power more expeditiously.
Customers can monitor restoration progress by signing up as Twitter followers at http://twitter.com/psegoutageinfo. Updates will also be posted on www.pseg.com.
In anticipation of possible storm conditions, PSE&G offers the following tips:
Accumulation of ice may weigh down power lines and as a result cause power lines to come down. Downed wires may appear dead but should always be considered "live." STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay in the vehicle until help arrives.
If You Lose Power
First check the surrounding area. If you are the only one without power, check for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. If that's not the problem, look outside at the wire between your building and the utility pole. If it is down, report it immediately to PSE&G. Report downed wires and power outages to PSE&G's Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG.