Senators: Still much to learn about utilities’ Sandy response

TRENTON – Senate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed Wednesday there’s still much to be learned about utility companies’ responses to disasters like superstorm Sandy, and that there is always room for improvement.

The Senate Budget Committee concluded a hearing where the heads of utility companies testified about their respective responses to the storm that devastated the state and left millions in the dark.

Lawmakers said going into the hearing that they hoped to learn about what worked well and what needed improvement.

“At the end of the day, it’s about accountability,” said Sen. Kevin O’Toole, (R-40), Cedar Grove, who commended both the governor’s leadership following the storm as well as the admission from utility companies during the hearing that some “mistakes were made.”

The committee’s chairman, Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, echoed O’Toole’s statements, saying following the hearing that “the numbers speak for themselves,” and explaining that the major utilities that were represented today sustained more than a billion dollars in infrastructure damage.

“I think we learned a lot,” he said, reiterating that focusing on communication and utility system redundancies in the future is the right direction to head to help curb future large-scale outages.

 

Senators: Still much to learn about utilities’ Sandy response