About Three-Quarters of Customers Restored; Crews Continue to Work Around the Clock to Restore Power and Over 1,100 Personnel Working on the Restoration Effort
MAYS LANDING, N.J. — Atlantic City Electric continues to make progress restoring power to customers who lost service as a result of the severe storm that hit the region Tuesday night. The storm caused more outages than either the June 2012 derecho or Hurricane Sandy.
Approximately 280,000 customers lost power at the peak of the storm and Atlantic City Electric has since restored service to about three-quarters of them. Power also has been restored to hospitals.
Approximately 80,000 customers were still without power as of Friday morning.
To put the impact of this storm in perspective, during the height of the derecho in 2012, 206,000 Atlantic City Electric customers had lost power. Hurricane Sandy caused more than 220,000 power outages.
Atlantic City Electric has deployed its own line personnel and is currently being supported by crews from its sister utilities, Delmarva Power and Pepco. In addition to internal resources, Atlantic City Electric has enlisted mutual assistance personnel from contractors and other utilities. The total number of line personnel working on the restoration is 552. In addition to line personnel, ACE has 300 tree personnel and an additional 250 support personnel handling support services related to the restoration.
Staging areas have been set up in Washington and Shamong townships to coordinate the mutual assistance crews.
Atlantic City Electric expects to restore service to most customers by late tonight. Power restoration to all customers is expected by the end of day Sunday.
The National Weather Service reported that Tuesday’s storm created straight-line winds in excess of 70 miles per hour throughout many parts of the Atlantic City Electric service territory. In Gloucester County, where some of the worst damage occurred, a macroburst of approximately 85 mph lasted between five and 20 minutes. The National Weather Service said strong macrobursts can cause tornado-force damage.
“As of this morning, all of our substations are now energized.” said Susan Coan, Atlantic City Electric region vice president. “Power is now restored to nearly three-quarters of our affected customers. We will continue to work until service to the last customer is restored.”
Customers are reminded that crews are actively engaged in restoration even if not immediately visible in neighborhoods. During major events, Atlantic City Electric follows industry best practices to restore power and get the largest number of customers on as quickly and safely as possible. First, repairs are made on high-voltage transmission lines, which can serve tens of thousands of customers. This work requires large numbers of crews and can be lengthy. That work is necessary first before restoration of substations, which can serve 15,000 to 20,000 customers. When substations are operating, crews then turn to distribution feeders, or primary power lines, which can serve more than 1,200 customers. Restoring power to primary lines returns service to most customers on those lines except to those with localized damage. Lastly, individual trouble spots are then repaired.
Customers are urged to keep calling Atlantic City Electric at 1-800-833-7476 to make sure their outages continue to be reported, even if they have reported them previously. Customers’ reports are vital to Atlantic City Electric’s restoration efforts because — combined with other customer calls and Atlantic City Electric’s technology — it helps the company precisely identify the remaining locations without power and speeds restoration.
In support of Atlantic City Electric, the American Red Cross has opened reception centers in three counties. The locations and times are:
The Camden County Office of Emergency Management will distribute water to their local municipalities.Burlington County:Burlington County will be using the Shamong Township Fire Department at 48 Willow Grove Road, Shamong, to offer water from 10:30 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Customers can report and track outages online at www.atlanticcityelectric.com; through the mobile app, available for download at atlanticcityelectric/mobileapp; or by calling 1-800-833-7476.
As restoration work progresses, customers may receive more targeted estimated times of restoration (ETR). For customers who utilize generators near the presence of a downed wire, it is important to remember that generators can energize downed wires. Contact with a downed wire can be fatal if the wire is energized. If there is a compelling need to use a portable generator, we urge customers to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Customers should not overload the generator and should turn it off at bedtime and when no one is at home. In addition, a portable generator should never be operated indoors because the carbon monoxide exhaust can be fatal.
For additional information and updates, visit www.atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/acelecconnect. Our mobile app is available for download at www.atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.