No NJ Transit, No Decamp, and Still No Power

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012 8:37am  |  COMMENTS (11)

Good morning and Happy Halloween. NJ Transit train/light rail service and PATH remain suspended and NYC Subway service, too. As of this morning, public and private bus service (Decamp) is still suspended in Port Authority. Lincoln Tunnel and GWB are open. GSP and the Turnpike are both back in business after some sections were closed.

Area schools are closed. President Obama is touring NJ to see the destruction. What are you doing today? For the powerless, more businesses will be open today (got coffee at Starbucks in Upper Montclair, where you can also get wi-fi). Panera in Glenmont Square (border Montclair/Glen Ridge) is open. And you can charge at council chambers today in Montclair, too, starting 10 a.m.

On Twitter, we’ve received tweets from residents who say they’ve seen power restored at Grove and Glen Ridge and also Bay Street. Last night, PSE&G, who told Montclair council yesterday that it may be as much as 5-7 days without restoration, gave this overall status report:

Outage update: Power has been restored to about 20 percent of the 1.4 million customers who lost power during Hurricane Sandy. Customers without power currently number between 1M and 1.1M. The largest storm in PSE&G history caused major flooding of substations and damaged power lines and other equipment. Today the utility successfully brought three flooded substations back on line to restore feeder lines that serve Newark, Elizabeth and Newark Airport. Work will continue on other stations including ones that serve Jersey City and Sewaren.

The walls of water created by the storm surge flooded a large number of substations along the Passaic, Raritan and Hudson rivers, disrupting service to customers in Hudson, Essex and Middlesex counties. The magnitude of the flooding in contiguous areas is unprecedented. PSE&G had to take these stations out of service, wait for the flood waters to recede to assess the damage, dry out the equipment, replace equipment when necessary and re-energize the system to restore service.

PSE&G is distributing free ice and water to customers without power at the following locations on a first come, first served basis between 8 am and 4:30 pm:

Elizabeth Customer Service Center, 550 N. Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

West Orange Customer Service Center, 59 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

Garden State Plaza, One Garden Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652

Crews helping in the restoration efforts have come from Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia and New Jersey, as well as Canada.

Many of the outages were caused by falling trees and limbs, which bring down power lines. Downed wires should always be considered “live.” STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. To report a downed wire and other visible equipment damage, call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street.

To report a power outage, call PSE&G’s Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG.

In addition to widespread electric outages, PSE&G expects the heavy rain and predicted storm surge to result in gas outages. Water could enter the utility’s gas distribution system, as well as flood customers’ basements and gas appliances. Customers are reminded to call PSE&G to report gas odors, and contact their local fire department and municipal construction office to receive assistance in pumping the water out of their basements.

Customers with wells are advised to have a supply of bottled drinking water on hand, and should fill the bathtub with water for sanitary purposes.

Crews work around the clock to repair equipment and restore power. The utility’s call center also will be fully staffed on a 24-hour basis to handle calls from customers. Other employees will assist with assessing storm damage, keeping the public away from any downed power lines and other functions that support restoration efforts.

Electric crews work to restore power to the largest numbers of customers first, taking into account “priority” customers, such as hospitals, police stations, fire stations, water and sewer facilities, communications facilities (TV, radio, and telephone), and customers on life-sustaining medical equipment. At the same time, the utility restores power to homes and businesses, starting with the circuits serving the largest number of customers.

Customers with a handheld device, or who are at an alternate location with power, can also report power outages and view the status of their outage by logging in to My Account at pseg.com. General outage activity throughout our service territory is available online at www.pseg.com/outagecenter and updates are posted on pseg.com during severe weather.

PSE&G has activated its Twitter page to keep the public informed about our restoration progress. Sign up as a follower at https://twitter.com/psegdelivers to monitor restoration progress.

11 Comments

  1. POSTED BY ncrnation  |  October 31, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Was anyone able to get into NYC today? How’d you do it?

  2. POSTED BY Annette Batson  |  October 31, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    not going in today, but drove in yesterday rte 3 to Lincoln tunnel from Montclair.
    yesterday no traffic in nyc, got home from 57th street in 28 minutes.

  3. POSTED BY qby33  |  October 31, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    My husband did get into NYC. I drove him to Weehawken where he caught a small commuter bus into Manhattan. Radio said 1 hr delay into tunnell and BOY it sure was! Looks like everyone was trying to drive in today. Added note: no power in Union City/ Weehawken area, so very hard to get around with no traffic lights!

  4. POSTED BY ccc  |  October 31, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Seriously, the decamp website is down. You would think they would get with the times and have a twitter/facebook acct to let people know easily if they were running.

  5. POSTED BY redrum  |  October 31, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    I carpooled with a coworker today, tunnel was slow but took about an hour from MTC to midtown. It worked today, but I don’t think driving in or taking the overcrowded buses is going to be a long-term viable solution until NJT is running again. Not sure what I’m going to do.

  6. POSTED BY walleroo  |  October 31, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    Spotted this morning: One out of state utility truck on Chestnut St., one PSE&G van driving down Valley.

    Hallelujah!

  7. POSTED BY wally1  |  October 31, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    I just got through to DeCamp: at this point, the 33 IS running – on a Saturday schedule

  8. POSTED BY nochooches  |  October 31, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    My husband and I drove in this morning. Left a little before 8 am and got to the Rock Center area by 9 am. Had to make a few detours through town due to downed trees, but it wasn’t so bad. I do think there will be more cars on the road tomorrow, so it might not be as easy.

  9. POSTED BY redrum  |  October 31, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

    I’m wondering if NJT is going to offer any sort of alternative busing from the stations… as it is now there is no way the current bus schedule, or the tunnels, can handle the volume created by no train service into the city.

  10. POSTED BY friedchix  |  October 31, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    I drove to Brooklyn Heights today from Montlcair. Left around 11:00 am and made it in 50 minutes. Flew into the Tunnel. It was lovely. Staying with friends here in Brooklyn until either NJT or subways are running. Cannot get info from Decamp….no surprise.

    Happy Halloween

  11. POSTED BY sufsean  |  October 31, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Wally1 or anyone:

    Can someone confirm if the DeCamp 33 Bus to NYC is running on a Saturday schedule? If so, since their website is down, does anyone know that schedule off-hand?

    Also, will this change tomorrow? Re: 33 Bus being back on its regular schedule…

    Let me know- Thanks in advance!

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