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NJ utility crews prepare for potential power outages during nor’easter

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New Jersey’s various utility companies say that they have crews at the ready to deal with potential power outages during Wednesday’s nor’easter snowstorm.

JCP&L has two staging sites for crews – one in Livingstone and one in Ocean County.

Crews began showing up at the Livingston site Tuesday evening to stage supplies, including generators and lights. Crews also brought along extra utility poles and transformers so that they can get to work on repairs as soon as they are needed.

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“The workers who work for the power companies are used to being out in these adverse conditions,” says JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano. “Granted, this is a number of storms in a row. It requires quite an effort in their part to work to restore customers safely to service."

JCP&L crews are expected to work 16-hour shifts with eight hours off starting early Wednesday and work through the storm.

Wednesday’s storm is expected to produce heavy, wet snow, which could topple trees and utility poles.

The last major nor’easter, which struck New Jersey on March 7, left more than 300,000 customers in the dark. A large number of people were still without power from the March 2 storm when this storm hit.

“We were well on our way to restore customers from first storm when the second one hit right on the heels of that first one,” Morano says.

A spokesperson for PSEG says that the company has brought in 600 mutual aid and contract employees from across the country to assist in fixing any power issues.

Both utility companies say that they want to remind customers to stay away from any downed wires and always treat wires as if they are energized.

Customers should prepare for potential power outages by keeping their phones charges and flashlights ready.

Anyone using a gas-powered generator should use caution and never use it indoors to prevent potential carbon monoxide exposure.

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