MORRISTOWN, N.J., Oct. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With Hurricane Sandy expected to slam New Jersey as early as Monday, Jersey Central Power & Light's (JCP&L) 400 linemen and 1,200 additional line personnel from as far away as Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio will help restore customers who could be without power from seven to 10 days as a result of anticipated damage from the storm. Restoration work will begin as soon as the storm passes and it is safe for utility workers.
The additional line personnel include crews from FirstEnergy Ohio utilities, outside contractors, and crews from other utilities. These resources are en route to New Jersey today. JCP&L also continues its efforts to secure even more line crews from other utilities through its membership in utility mutual assistance organizations.The line crews will be joined by more than 1,200 forestry contractors who will be available Monday to assist with removing downed trees and limbs as part of the storm restoration process. "Based on current forecasts and predictions, we are proactively deploying additional resources to assist our internal crews to help minimize the impact to our customers once Hurricane Sandy hits," said JCP&L President Donald Lynch. "We also are working with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and emergency management officials to ensure all available resources are being used to lessen the impact from this storm. We will conduct conference calls to update local officials on our storm preparation activities and we will continue to share information with them and with our customers throughout the service restoration process." Other proactive steps being taken by JCP&L include establishing staging areas in Essex, Hunterdon, Sussex and Ocean counties for internal and outside crews. Once the storm has passed, JCP&L will have 10 helicopters available to assess damage from the air. In addition to the high winds, the forecast also calls for heavy rains over several days that are expected to cause coastal, river and flash flooding. The high tides also have the potential to exacerbate the flooding. Contractors have inspected waterways near JCP&L substations and all debris has been removed. Crews also are placing sandbags around substations that could be threatened by flooding.