Northwest power company employees help restore power in New Jersey

LEWISTON, ID - As the after-effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to linger on the East Coast, line crews from around the country work to fully restore power in the region.

Roughly 106 people, including 67 Bonneville Power Administration personnel and 39 contractors left for the great state of New Jersey on November 3rd. Many of them are from the Inland Northwest. Those deployed are currently helping with a mixture of power operations involving transmission repairs, vegetation removal and substation work for the Barrier Islands of the state.

"As the public is recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy we support this national hurricane response," said Bonneville Power Administration Public Affair Specialist Kevin Wingert. "And we do so in such a fashion that it doesn't sacrifice any of our capacity or ability to respond to any potential weather event or issue within the Pacific Northwest."

According to Jersey Central Power and Light officials, this is the largest restoration effort in response to a state record shattering storm with more than 1.3 million customers losing power, some more than once.

"This restoration effort took as much support as we could get," said Jersey Central Power and Light Spokesman Ron Morano. "We're grateful for all of the visiting utility companies and contractors that came to join our effort to restore customers. We're proud to say that we were able to restore customers to service as safely and quickly as possible."

As of November 8th, 93% of those customers' power was restored. However, there are still new outages and individual customers as well as temporary fixes to complete.

"The numbers now reflect our transition to normal operations," said Morano. "So there is going to be some new outages associated with that, but again many of the support crews are still out here supporting the effort and we're continuing to work as needed for our customers."

"All in all it seems that things are going pretty positively, we're getting a lot of work done," said Wingert. "We've had no safety incidents involved with any of our crews, so we're working hard and we're working safe and we're doing what we can to help restore the power and the transmission structure out in the New Jersey region."

More than 8,000 line workers from around the country, including contractors from Jersey Central Power and Light's sister company, First Energy, continue to work toward full restoration of power in the area.

BPA crews will remain on the East Coast for up to four-weeks until electricity damages inflicted by Superstorm Sandy are fully restored.