Assembly Panel Hears Testimony from Utility Representatives
(TRENTON) The Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on Thursday heard testimony from utility industry representatives concerning the utilities’ response efforts to Superstorm Sandy to date as well as the utilities’ on-going and remaining efforts in the aftermath of the storm. Chairman Upendra J. Chivukula (D-Middlesex,Somerset) issued the following statement:
“Providing clearer communication with local officials and the public, making better use of manpower, implementing more effective timing, interstate and dispatch coordination… the panel raised the important concerns of our residents during this hearing. We know we are going to need answers as we move forward in the rebuilding effort.
“Our utility workers did the very best they could with the minimal reliability plans that are currently in place. Hard work and ingenuity, I’m sure, all played a part in restoring the utilities to any affected areas.
“The storm ravaged such a large geographical portion of New Jersey. We could have never expected perfection in the response to the many outages and other problems the strong winds and massive flooding caused across the state. It is important that we continue to learn more about the plans in place and how far we have come in preparedness since Hurricane Irene.
“What we cannot afford to do is to continue to go from one natural disaster to another without streamlining emergency plans, reviewing utility reliability plans, and focusing on improving the resiliency of the industry in such weather occurrences.
“This, unfortunately, will not be our last encounter with a “superstorm.” Now that we have more information on what occurred during the storm, we will be able to assess and plan any needed legislation accordingly.