Atlantic City Electric Considers Precautionary Shut Down of Key Electric Equipment
MAYS LANDING, N.J . – Atlantic City Electric has initiated its Incident Response Plan regarding the effects of Hurricane Irene. In order to limit storm damage and ensure the safety of customers and emergency service personnel, the company may need to de-energize the transmission infrastructure in flooded communities.
Atlantic City Electric is working closely with local Emergency Management and key officials to discuss the potential for shutdowns. At this time, areas under consideration include the barrier islands in Cape May County and Ocean County as these areas, already evacuated, are expected to be hard hit by the storm.
There are two primary issues that Atlantic City Electric evaluates prior to de-energizing an area, water levels and the integrity of the company’s transmission infrastructure. Should equipment need to be de-energized, service restoration will be dependent on how quickly water recedes from the affected areas.
“While we do not plan to de-energize at this time, proactively de-energizing equipment would aid our crews in restoring service as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Vince Maione, Atlantic City Electric Region President. “By powering down these critical components, we could limit the damage to our equipment and reduce the amount of time necessary to restore service. If water reaches key electrical equipment that is energized, damage could be exponential and likely prolong restoration. The areas we’ve identified are currently under mandatory evacuations, so our hope is that customer impacts will be extremely limited,” said Maione “If this is done, restoration times after the storm should be reduced.”
The company is continuing to closely monitor the approach of Hurricane Irene. All available resources are scheduled to work extended hours and the assistance of additional personnel from other utilities and contractors has been secured. Crews will begin to assess damage and restore power as soon as conditions permit.
Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 548,000 customers in southern New Jersey