It didn’t take long for the snow to start coming down hard and fast and for people to start getting, well, a little hysterical. This was the line at the Lukoil gas station on Valley and Lorraine this morning, where people were not only filling up their tanks in anticipation of Winter Storm Nemo, but extra gas containers, too (like the guy in front of me. Thanks a lot, fella). A policeman arrived to make things a little less chaotic, just as the line grew, cars backed up on the side of Valley Road almost down to Kings–which was also crowded with folks stocking up on food.
But I suppose the panic is only natural given that Hurricane Sandy is still so fresh in our minds. My husband is off to the hardware store this morning to replenish our supply of flashlights, which somehow disappeared between that storm and now (the consequence of having two children who think those things are the best toys ever). It’s not likely the lights will go out but, hey, you never know. In fact, PSE&G is preparing for that possibility, sending out this notice last night:
In anticipation of the storm, PSE&G is taking the following steps to ensure that it is ready to respond to what may be widespread power outages:
- Ensuring that all available personnel are ready to respond beginning Friday
- Arranging for contractors, including tree crews, to assist the utility’s own skilled workforce
- Ensuring that additional supplies, such as poles, transformers and other pole-top equipment, are on hand
- Ensuring that all vehicles are fueled and ready to go
- Testing generators at utility locations
- Coordinating with county and municipal emergency management personnel to inform them of outages and expedite restoration efforts
Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down. In addition, cold weather can affect the number of calls received from customers with insufficient or no heat.
How are you preparing for the storm? And do you think we’re in for another Sandy-like mess, or that we’re all overreacting?