TRENTON -- New Jersey's electric utilities are ready to deal with power outages from Monday's nor'easter.

Heavy rains and strong winds will overspread the state on Monday, according to WPG Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, with an extended period of 40 to 50 mph gusts inland and 50 to 60 mph gusts along the coast.

"I still suspect the rain will be torrential for a time. However, I also won't be surprised if rainfall totals don't live up to expectations," Zarrow said. "The GFS (model) in particular has lightened up on the rain forecast, especially for inland NJ."

The storm is expected to last into Tuesday, according to Zarrow.

"We are preparing for a busy day. We'll have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with extra tree personnel and equipment at the ready," John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G, said in a statement.

Atlantic City Electric is also prepared for clearing trees that may come down during the nor'easter.

"In addition to approximately 125 internal linemen, Atlantic City Electric has an additional 160 overhead line contractors and tree-trimming personnel as well as crews from its sister utilities Delmarva Power and Pepco available to assist in any restoration effort," the company said in a statement.

JCP&L urged its customers to be prepared for the storm, including having a flashlight, fresh batteries, and a portable radio handy, along with charging up cell phones. The utilities also suggested having bottled water, blankets, sleeping bags and foods that don't require cooking.

All the utilities also stressed that any wires on the ground should be considered live and reported immediately.

As winds kicked up on Monday morning, New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams said drivers need to focus even more of their attention on the road.

"Wipers on and lights on through the storm," Williams said. "Concentrate on your driving today. Crosswinds could be extremely dangerous, especially in open areas and on bridges. Be aware of trucks, which are very susceptible to tipping."


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