MORRISTOWN, N.J., Oct. 29, 2012 -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has moved 1,400 linemen and 1,200 forestry crews into position to restore power to customers in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, which is already lashing the state with strong winds and rain.
Crews have arrived in New Jersey from Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Canada. Restoration work will begin once the winds subside to safe levels. Bucket trucks carrying linemen are not safe during high winds.
The storm may delay a full assessment of damage until at least Wednesday and then estimates will be developed for restoration times. Once the storm has passed, JCP&L will have 10 helicopters available to assess damage from the air.
JCP&L customers should take precautions and plan for outages that could last seven to 10 days.
"We ask all our customers to be safe through this dangerous storm. If lines are down, please stay away until crews can arrive to make the area safe," said Don Lynch, President of JCP&L.
JCP&L's emergency operations center is already in full operation. Mobile command centers also are placed strategically around the state. Many of JCP&L's substations have been sandbagged to help prevent water damage.
The priority for restoration starts with emergency services, including hospitals, police, fire and first aid. Repairs are scheduled based on restoring the most people the fastest. During severe damage, it could take repairs in many locations to restore power to one location.
Above all, customers are encouraged to be safe and prepare for the possibility of extended outages.
- Stay away from downed power lines. They could be electrified and should always be considered dangerous. Don't walk or drive near or over a downed line, and watch out for anything touching the line. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside until help arrives.
- Keep children and pets away from any wires.
- Stay out of flooded basements, even if the power is off. Stay away from the breaker box if it's in a flooded basement.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and consider filling your bathtub with fresh water.
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- If power goes out, unplug appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, and sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs and computers so that they won't overload when power is restored.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. To prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home, do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources inside.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune in to a local radio station for current storm information.
- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed. Customers without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com. The more people who call, the faster JCP&L can pinpoint the locations where we need to send crews for repairs. Customers should immediately report downed wires to their electric company or local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.
For updated information on the company's storm preparation efforts, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. Or follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L and Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL for the latest information.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
CONTACT: Ron Morano, JCP&L, +1-973-401-8097