2013 R/ECON Spring Conference to be held April 19; LaRossa, Strauss-Wieder to be guest speakers

April 3, 2013

The Bloustein School will hold the 2013 Rutgers Economic Advisory Service(R/ECON™)  Spring Conference, “Superstorm Sandy: Unanticipated Realities and Post-Surge Responses,” on Friday, April 19, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Special Events Forum, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ on the campus of Rutgers University.

The conference will give special focus to the true story of the superstorm in terms of anticipation, the actual event, and the aftermath. Ralph A. LaRossa, President and COO of PSE&G, will discuss the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the power grid and lessons learned. Hurricane Sandy holds the dubious distinction of being the most destructive storm in New Jersey-based PSE&G’s 109-year history.  In addition to the high winds and heavy rains that left more than 1.9 million of PSE&G’s 2.2 million electric customers without power, Sandy’s storm surge caused the Hudson, Hackensack and Passaic rivers to overflow their banks, causing unimaginable devastation to numerous switching stations, substations and generating infrastructure.

With the increased frequency of extreme weather, PSE&G has continued to look for ways strengthen its infrastructure to ensure safe, reliable energy for its customers. Options such as ways to build more redundancy and resiliency into the system, relocating poles and lines and determining whether it makes sense to bury some overhead lines to increase reliability, moving substations, the use of other two-way communications tools, and revisiting tree-trimming practices are just some of the things which need to be examined.

Anne Strauss-Wieder of A. Strauss-Wieder, Inc. will examine the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the supply chain and transportation.  Hurricane Sandy was a multistate event, affecting multiple modes of transportation. Transportation agencies and other emergency preparedness organizations started working on plans and activating operation centers in advance of the storm’s arrival, but it wasn’t until the day before the storm that the fact that NY/NJ area would be near the epicenter became known. Transit systems and freight operators began orderly shutdowns, but were unprepared for the speed and severity of the event. The day after the storm saw immediate assessment, response and recovery, but the lack of power in the region and amount of destruction to infrastructure as well as facilities required quick and creative work to get the systems operational.

The regional economic outlook/forecast will then be presented by Nancy H. Mantell, Director of R/ECON™ followed by an analysis of the economic impact of Sandy led by Joseph J. Seneca, University Professor. A discussion period will follow the formal presentations.

This event is free and open to public. To RSVP please contact Marcia Hannigan at 848-932-2828 or email mhanniga@ejb.rutgers.edu.

*** 1.5 AICP Certification Maintenance credits have been requested for this event ***


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