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NJ Senator: Atlantic City Electric Was "Horrible" In Their Response To The Storms

By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3rd), told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT midday host Dom Giordano that following the massive power outages from the storms on June 23rd, Atlantic City Electric (ACE) was "horrible" in comparison to PSE&G.


"PSE&G communicated, was prepared, was out there working and in my opinion Atlantic City Electric was slow to the dance and really didn't communicate with anyone. I actually had to call them myself to see where we were at and was extremely frustrated with their response."

At the very least the communication should have been better seeing that after Hurricane Sandy, the Board of Public Utilities(BPU) developed guidelines to prevent the kind of response that Sweeney says that ACE had to this catastrophic storm.

"After Sandy, the BPU developed some very good communication guidelines so that people would have an understanding of what is going on, mayors and council people would be communicated with so they can communicate to their residents and Atlantic City Electric failed. PSE&G did a phenomenal job and the comparisons between the two companies were the most startling that I've ever seen."

Sweeney tells a story of running into a PSE&G employee the morning before the storm as he getting ready for a "long night tonight" since the worker was expecting to be called in to start repairs as soon as the storm was to finish and he compares that to the conversation that he had with one of the leaders of ACE in which he asked, "You know there's 50 ACE trucks sitting in Glassboro's yard?"

"We hadn't seen any on the roads anywhere. So, their view of assessing and everything else was bad.

Another thing that came into play in Sweeney's mind during the recovery of power to more than 250,000 customers for ACE alone, was the fact that when Verizon's coverage went down, ACE did not have any form of backup for communication.

"Our ability to communicate completely collapsed around here. I mean, if you have AT&T or one of the others, you were able to communicate, but Verizon is a very large provider of services around here. With that in mind, the Senator has asked the president of the BPU to investigate ACE's practices during the days following the storm."

"All you can do is learn from the mistakes. You know, the storm has hit. What we have to makes sure is that we don't repeat these mistakes again...If they don't take it serious, as the President of the Senate, then I will issue a Senate hearing on this."

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