East Coast power companies keep an eye on Hurricane Earl

September 2, 2010 — Energy interests, including nuclear power plants, oil refineries and exploration and drilling platforms along the Eastern seaboard are monitoring Hurricane Earl as it made its way up the coast.

However the storm’s path is likely to miss key East Coast oil refineries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Likewise, nuclear operators do not expect severe enough winds to cause shutdowns in North Carolina and Virginia.

In anticipation of Hurricane Earl, New Jersey’s Public Service Electric and Gas Co. has all personnel available and is ensuring that additional supplies, such as poles and pole top equipment, are on hand to promptly respond and restore service should the inclement weather result in outages.

PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G should not hesitate to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destinations.

The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. Customers are asked to use this option if they are calling to report damage to wires, transformers or poles. This will help PSE&G to restore power more expeditiously.

D.C.-based Pepco, which has already had to deal with power outages unrelated to Earl earlier in the summer, reports it is also keeping a close watch on the latest reports on the storm.

The company’s affiliate utilities, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric, have assets that could be damaged by the storm and its associated effects.

According to the National Weather Service, the powerful Category 3 storm is expected to affect the East Coast Thursday night and Friday bringing the potential for heavy rain and strong winds in our service territory. Earlier this week, Hurricane Earl pummeled the northeastern Caribbean with damaging rain and winds.

While Earl was not forecast to to make a U.S. landfall, it was expected to steer north and track up the the East Coast.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for New York Harbor marine activities as well as Northeastern New Jersey, where Earl is expected to glance the area late Friday, according to the NWS.



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