It's really hard to be without electricity. It's even worse to get it turned on, and lose it again to the results of another storm.
Woodbridge residents on Facebook lit up the comments section as power died in various parts of town Wednesday afternoon and evening. The explanation in some cases was that the power was being turned off temporarily by PSEG so that they could restore electric service to other nearby residents.
But the heavy, wet snow of the nor'easter - named Athena in a new twist - contributed to the outages as well.
PSEG said in a statement that the winter storm knocked out power for 90,000 customers, but power was restored for 50,000 of them. The storm knocked out a substation in East Brunswick at 4 pm, killing the lights for 8,000 residents. That power was restored four hours later.
On Wednesday, PSEG spokesman said they've imported even more out-of-state linemen to help get the power back on. All the ones who were here for Hurricane Sandy's devastation have stayed, so PSEG has a supersized crew of workers to help with Athena's destruction.
Here is the latest PSEG updated statement:
PSE&G storm update – Nov. 8, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.
- Despite the winter storm, the 4,000 out of state workers and 700 PSE&G technicians continued working and had a very productive day, restoring service to more than 70,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sandy since Wednesday morning. We now have 120,000 customers without power as a result of the hurricane. Many of our crews from the south have never worked in snow before but have proven more than capable of handling this new challenge.
- The winter storm Athena affected service to more than 90,000 customers since about noontime today. Because of the work we have done this week, we already have been able to restore about 50,000 of those customers. The storm impacted a substation in East Brunswick, putting 8,000 customers out of service at 4 p.m. That substation came back on line at 8 p.m. **The next update will be available at approx. 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
- PSE&G expects to continue to restore customers still impacted by Hurricane Sandy as well as respond to outages caused by last night’s wind and rain.
- While work may continue in the rain and snow, federal safety rules prevent line crews from working in bucket trucks when winds are greater than 40 mph. Crews will resume work when it is safe to do so.
- When repairing damaged lines in an area, we may need to take a line out of service temporarily for safety reasons. Power will be restored as soon as it is safe to do so. We ask for customers’ understanding when this occurs.
- Customers may see a variety of vehicles at various damage locations. These trucks are staffed with standby personnel, gas workers, meter readers, and support people who are assisting the restoration effort by keeping the public away from downed wires and other electrical equipment while line crews are making repairs at other locations.
- There currently is no shortage of materials. However, this is an incredible restoration job so we continue to seek materials so we can be covered in case the damage in some areas turns out to be greater than anticipated. FEMA has offered to get materials for us and we will take advantage of that offer.
- Crews are working 16-hour days, with mandated rest periods and meal breaks.
- Since the start of the storm, PSE&G call centers have handled more than 1.9 million calls (more than 12 times the normal volume). We have suspended non-emergency work so that more workers are available to respond to customer calls.