New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is directing the Board of Public Utilities to investigate the power companies’ response to the recent winter storms that knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers.
“We’re going to examine what went wrong and whether the improvements to protect and strengthen our grid devised post Sandy have been implemented. We will look to see if all preparedness measures were taken before last Friday knowing a major event was coming. My gut tells me they were not, and if they’ve not been, that is entirely inexcusable.”
Murphy says he’s frustrated and angered by the uneven preparedness by utilities companies.
“In particular I have to say JCP&L’s apparent lack of readiness remains a major issue that must be and will be looked into further. They operate in some of the most wooded and rural parts of the state, and we learned from Sandy that a lot of trees won’t survive hurricane force gusts.”
Board of Public Utilities president Joe Fiordaliso says utility companies will be held responsible if they didn’t follow the procedures developed after Superstorm Sandy.
Fiordaliso is ordering all New Jersey-based utilities’ crews to stay in the state until all customers impacted by the storms have their power restored.
“It’s our in-state utilities that should get that help first. And once they are stabilized, those utilities can send them out to help other jurisdictions, but New Jersey has to be number one.”
Some Republican lawmakers are urging the Governor to mobilize the National Guard to help with recovery efforts in North Jersey where some residents have been without power for almost a week.
Click below to hear the WBGO Journal feature on the power issue.