JCP&L offers solution for flood zone meters
Jersey Central Power & Light officials are giving some leniency to customers in flood zones, who have complained about meter boxes being built after the raising of their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
According to JCP&L spokesman Mark Durbin, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is letting utilities decide how to handle placement of the meters, and customers will be allowed to build platforms or stairs above flood level leading to the meter boxes.
"That will allow our employees to access the meter, but in terms of anything else changing, it really hasn't," he said.
The standing distance from the base that a JCP&L employee would have to reach to service a meter still cannot be any higher than five feet.
"The bottom line is that we need to take into account the safety of our employee first, and that's something we're not willing to compromise on," Durbin said.
JCP&L is requiring customers to build at least six stairs that are at least 36 inches wide, to prevent employees from falling or having to use a ladder to access the meter.
Durbin said JCP&L has been working with the state Board of Public Utilities and the Department of Community Affairs on the recent changes, to reach some agreement on what needs to be done moving forward to address safety issues, and keep everyone on the same page.