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July 24, 2015

A.C. Electric responds to critical report after lengthy power outages

New Jersey Public Utility Board issues recommendations for weather emergencies

Earlier this week, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state of New Jersey after a FEMA assessment of the destructive June 23 storms that knocked power out for thousands and caused at least $15 million in damages.

Atlantic City Electric, whose customer base was hardest hit by outages and given inaccurate estimates for when their power would be restored, responded on Friday to a report critical of the company's handling of the situation, CBS 3 reports.

Among the many service interruptions that occurred, the company pointed out that it was affected by a Verizon Wireless outage that slowed down its process and created difficulties coordinating a response.

“Verizon Wireless is one of our carriers that we use for our data transfers so when that went down it did impede us initially,” said A.C. Electric’s Regional President, Vince Maione.

The report, which came from the New Jersey Public Utility Board, criticized A.C. Electric for not having a solid backup plan that might have cut down on repeated delays that in some cases lasted up to six days. The Board urged the company to alert the public more quickly about the severity of the damage, challenges of recovery and possibility for an extended service interruption.

Both A.C. Electric and PSE&E have vowed to increase preparedness and improve their processes during weather emergencies.