In a Ukrainian Orthodox church parking lot on Davidson Avenue in Somerset, not far from the suburban office parks, scores of line trucks prepared to hit the road and repair power lines early this morning.
“Our number one job is safety. Number two is getting them on the job with the right equipment and fuel in their trucks as efficiently as possible,” said David M. Daly, PSE&G vice president of asset management and centralized services for electric delivery.
The trucks belong to PSE&G contractor companies brought in to help restore power after Hurricane Sandy. The contractors include Power Secure, based inWake Forest,N.C.; Mississippi Power; Delaware-based Delmarva Power; Davis H. Elliot inKentucky; Gulf Power inFloridaand Team Fishel, based inColumbus,Ohio.
There are about 4,500 workers from the contractor companies that need to be lodged, fed and bused between the hotels and the truck staging area inSomersetand others around the state, said Daly.
“This is a very sophisticated logistical operation we’re doing here,” said Daly, dressed in warm clothes and a hard hat. “If it’s not done right, you can lose a lot of time. One hour of lost time times 4,500 people is a lot of lost productivity. Our job is to minimize down time.”
Another logistical aspect of the operation involved securing all the needed materials, especially poles, transformers and wire, for the contractors to use, Daly said.
PSE&G was reporting outages of 70,000 customers from Hurricane Sandy and 40,000 from the nor’easter Athena, according to a company press release at 7:30 a.m. today.
JCP&L was reporting 180,000 customers without power, according to a listing by counties on its website this morning.