'Foreign Workers' in New Jersey for Sandy Can Help with Nor'easter
Another big storm is due tomorrow. All the out-of-state electric crews helping PSE&G in NJ are going to be in the right place at the right time, come Wednesday.
That's because, with all the Sandy power outages, PSE&G president and chief operating officer Ralph LaRossa called in the cavalry - that is, linemen and workers from other states who flooded into the state to help restore power.
Just Tuesday, LaRossa spoke on a media conference call and trumpeted that the company obtained the services of another 600 linemen, coming in from Pennsylvania, just last night.
"We got them to work quickly," LaRossa said.
As of today, there are 3,900 outside personnel to bolster the 700 PSE&G workers trying to turn the power back on since Hurricane Sandy hit last week.
LaRossa reported that 281,000 state residents are still without power, but that over 84 percent of customers have had their electricity restored. Much of that was accomplished by turning on the last of the flooded substations - this one in Bayonne, which had been heavily flooded by the Sandy storm surge.
He's hoping to bring the number of customers with power up to 90 percent by tomorrow.
But the nor'easter is also due Wednesday.
"I've seen the forecast change twice in the last few hours," LaRossa said. No matter what happens, he said the company "will take corrective action once the weather hits us."
That's where all those out-of-state linemen who are already in New Jersey can come in handy if the nor'easter causes any kind of power issues to people who just got their electricity back.
"If you drive around, it seems like everywhere you look, there's a bucket truck," LaRossa said he was told.
He praised the "foreign crews," as he called the linemen who poured in from other states to help restore power. "They left their homes and families to help New Jersey."
The nor'easter's effects is an unknown quantity, but with all the extra help, LaRossa said PSE&G is prepared.
"I don't know what the weather will be tomorrow, or if there will be additional damage," he said, adding the company will take on what comes.