Public Service Electric and Gas Co. has reported that it is making steady progress restoring power to the more than 500,000 customers affected by Saturday's wet, heavy snow that brought down numerous trees and power lines.
At this time, the state's largest electric and gas utility has restored power to about 90 percent of the customers affected, and will meet the state's expectations of having at least 95 percent of customers restored by Thursday. PSE&G serves 2.2 million electric customers.
"As Governor Christie noted earlier today, this storm caused more significant damage to our electric infrastructure than Hurricane Irene," said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president and COO. "I assured him that we were using every available resource to make repairs and restore electricity as quickly and safely as we can."
In addition to its own crews, LaRossa said the company has arranged for more than 160 out-of-state utility and line contractor crews to assist in the restoration effort.
"While we work to restore power to the greatest number of customers first, we also have a large number of individual service lines that are damaged as a result of falling tree limbs," he said. "Repairing these single lines that go from our poles to customers' homes and businesses pose the greatest challenge with this type of storm."
The utility said the majority of outages are in Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Union counties due to the extensive amount of tree and power line damage.