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Q&A: PSE&G Reflects on Hurricane Sandy

By Phill Feltham

Q: Reflecting back at Hurricane Sandy two years ago, what steps did PSE&G take to restore power? What were the lessons learned?

OUR EXPERT | Richard Wernsing, Manager of Asset Strategy, Electric at Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G)

Prior to any storm, PSE&G (Public Service Electric and Gas) estimates the labor requirements based on weather projections. If needed, we hire mutual aid prior to the storm so they are ready for work when the storm passes by. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, we quickly assessed the amount of damage immediately after the storm. Our assessment concluded that vegetation caused much of the damage. Initially, the only information available was the location of customers who were out of service. Fortunately, some of these customer reports included actual vegetation damage locations.

However, we needed more information on damage sites caused from vegetation to make the necessary repairs. Therefore, assigned restoration staff began a “look-up” process to ascertain what asset damage occurred due to vegetation. Once restoration staff completed the process and obtained more information, staff re-estimated the necessary labor requirements based on initial damage reports. Finally, restoration workers correlated the reported damage and performed the necessary repairs. In the aftermath, we learned that improvements were required in our work prioritization and optimization as well as our work scheduling and dispatch processes. Since then, PSE&G have taken necessary steps to make those improvements.

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