Meanwhile tough-talking New Jersey Governor Christie was telling the truth and praising Obama for his efforts.
But what a project it must be, restoring electrical power to the entire state. How does one deal with all these stakeholders claiming to be highest priority? Do you restore the substations first, the refineries, the hospitals, those neighborhoods under water or the rich people who whine the loudest? How about the politically connected?
In my four street neighborhood, thankfully unaffected by water, we lost a lot of power poles and over twenty trees had to be cut down that were crossing the roads and dragging down lines.
We are still without power a week after the event and so I looked at my utility's restoration project plan. Check out this table showing the work plan to restore power to all their customers:
link to see the raw data for as long as the data is up on PSE&G's website.
Notice anything weird? I would have thought that getting people's power back on worked like a Pareto chart. 90% of the problems were caused by 10% of the errors. In electrical terms, 10% of the power poles, substations or circuits were out, causing 90% of the customers to lose power. So I would expect that there would be a reverse exponential curve on the data. On day one you might restore half the customer's power, day two half of the remaining set and so on until there were very few people left on day five.
Looking at the data I rarely see that. In most cases there is a straight line relationship from day to day showing how many customers in a particular area recovered their power. Now maybe it's just my lack of knowledge of how you restore power but I'm suspicious.
There are two major electricity suppliers in this state and they seem to have been taking a different approach to restoring power. Whenever there is a scrolling banner under the news pictures of the disaster they show power outages like this:
PSE&G estimates about 840,000 customers without power
JCP&L estimates about 763,659 customers without power
Makes you wonder which utility is taking things more seriously.
Look at the outage maps of the two utilities.
Here is the PSE&G map:
And here is the JCP&L map:
Unfortunately I have no option of switching utilities. I am about 400 yards from the boundary. But now I understand why in previous storms, my power always went out while my neighbor, on the JCP&L side was fine.