At 8 p.m. EDT, Sandy made landfall along the New Jersey coast near Atlantic City. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph. It is moving toward the west-northwest at 23 mph. Sandy is a post-tropical cyclone.
Strong winds and rain began to batter the Mid-Hudson Valley region this afternoon as Hurricane Sandy moved westward towards the coast of southern New Jersey. Central Hudson has put crews and personnel into place in preparation for damage assessment and storm-related repairs once conditions are safe enough to do so.
“We’ve reached out to utilities and contractors outside of our region to assist in our restoration efforts,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson. He explained that a total field force of approximately 700 is being deployed, including 300 line personnel, or about 2.5 times Central Hudson’s normal crew complement, plus 140 tree trimmers to address storm damage. “Mutual aid crews have been arriving from Florida, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin, and additional reinforcements will arrive later in the week.
“Repairs and damage assessment will begin once it is safe to do so,” said Laurito. “High winds with severe gusts may persist on Tuesday, which could create unsafe conditions for repair crews. We must wait until winds subside before full restoration activities can begin with workers deployed in overhead lifts, but we will continue to respond to downed wires and other emergencies in cooperation with county emergency management organizations.”
Laurito urged customers to ‘play it safe,’ by staying indoors during the worst of the storm. “Avoid travel as fallen trees and downed lines may block roadways and pose hazards. If you must be outdoors, keep at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and be wary of lines that may be entangled in fallen trees or hidden under piles of leaves or in flood waters.” Laurito also indicated that Central Hudson will be distributing dry ice and bottled water when states of emergency are lifted, roadways are cleared and it is safe for customers to travel. Distribution locations will be determined and announced once the areas with heaviest damage are identified.
Electric service interruptions were reported throughout the region later in the day on Monday as winds and wind gusts began to intensify. As of 7 p.m., more than 32,000 service interruptions were reported, with approximately 476 distinct damage locations. Additional electric service interruptions are anticipated overnight and into Tuesday morning as the storm reaches maximum strength. Laurito emphasized that the severity of the storm may result in extended restoration times.