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Pallone, Leaders from Public and Private Sectors Unveil Partnership to Bring “Resilient City” to Sea Bright

December 12, 2016
Press Release

Long Branch, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), and partners from both the public and private sectors unveiled the outline of a plan to ensure citizens of Sea Bright will be able to communicate and have access to energy and safe drinking water sources during an emergency. The “Resilient City” plan for Sea Bright will serve as a model for other municipalities planning for future storms. Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, Councilman Marc A. Leckstein, Sam Delgado, Vice President of External Affairs for Verizon, Mariellen Dugan, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for NJNG and Anthony Hurley, Vice President, Operations for JCP&L joined Pallone at the event.

During and after Sandy there was a major breakdown of communications networks, including cellular and home telephones, television, and internet services.  There was also great stress on New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure, making it difficult for utilities to provide basic services.  This created a dangerous barrier to emergency response and recovery for residents and towns. To address this problem, Congressman Pallone’s staff has been working with Sea Bright’s government and industry over the past two years to learn from the past and make the city a model of strength.

New Jersey Natural Gas has already installed a new distribution pipeline in Sea Bright, JCP&L has raised an electrical substation to avoid storm damage and Verizon announced that it will be deploying new infrastructure including a new form of network architecture involving smaller nodes, rather than the traditional large towers.  These nodes bring more redundancy and should better withstand major events.  The partners plan to take one of New Jersey’s most vulnerable towns and turn it into the country’s first resilient city.

“I am very excited to stand with Mayor Long and representatives from Verizon, New Jersey Natural Gas, and JCP&L to announce an exciting new initiative to make sure we are better prepared next time disaster strikes,” said Pallone. “From my first moments on the ground touring the damage Sandy wrought in New Jersey, I have remained committed to helping our communities rebuild and better prepare for future storms like Sandy. We learned that no silver bullet can prepare us for any emergency.  But, with the public and private sectors working together, we can strive to make sure the citizens of Sea Bright and all of New Jersey are safer next time disaster strikes.”

"On behalf of the Borough, I wish to thank Congressman Pallone, his staff, Verizon, NJNG and JCP&L, all of whom have made a strong commitment toward ensuring Sea Bright becomes a truly ‘Resilient City’,” said Sea Bright Councilman Marc A. Leckstein.  “We look forward to working with all parties, and anyone else who wishes to join this effort, in making sure that Sea Bright, as well as every other municipality, will be better prepared to tackle future storm events."

“Superstorm Sandy reminded us all of the critical need for resiliency,” said Mariellen Dugan, chief operating officer of New Jersey Natural Gas said. “Through our consistent infrastructure investment, we are committed to strengthening our system and delivering safe and reliable service to our customers, every day.”

"Resiliency, redundancy, reliability and proper planning are the key elements of emergency management,” said Verizon Vice President Sam Delgado. “Verizon is here today to discuss our plans for ensuring that our landline and wireless services in Sea Bright are sustainable and resilient in the face of any future storms."

"JCP&L invests significantly each year to enhance reliability, resiliency and customer service,”  said Anthony Hurley, JCP&L vice president of Operations  “Our work has included raising equipment, installing flood barriers and monitoring equipment at Sea Bright and 18 other substations.   The work has helped JCP&L achieve its best service reliability in more than a decade.”