All power restored following two nor’easters, utilities say
TRENTON — Most of those who lost power during last week's nor'easter have been restored.
Two nor'easters within less than a week dumped two feet of snow, with high winds that brought down hundreds of trees, utility poles, and wires. Essex, Hunterdon, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties were especially hard hit.
PSE&G thanked hundreds of out-of-state line workers and tree trimmers who worked around the clock to bring all its customers back on line by late Monday night.
"We want to thank our customers and municipal officials for their patience as we responded to these back-to-back storms," said John Latka, PSE&G senior vice president of electric and gas operations. "We also appreciate the more than 600 out-of-state line workers and 680 tree trimmers who have been working tirelessly — along with our own employees and contractors — to safely repair the extensive damage from all the downed trees."
The utility said that crews from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will stay in New Jersey during Tuesday's nor'easter, ready to help respond to any additional outages.
JCP&L said it expected to restore the remaining 2,300 customers it still had without power by Monday night thanks to its own army of out-of-state workers.
"We have replaced nearly 51 miles of wire, more than 750 poles and cleared trees at more than 5,400 locations. We greatly appreciate the support our customers have shown during this undertaking," JCP&L president Jim Fakult said in a statement.
During his first Ask the Governor on New Jersey 101.5, Gov. Phil Murphy credited the out-of-state workers for their "enormous amount of hard work" to restore power, but remained critical of the management as the state Board of Public Utilities formally opened its investigation into the response.
"We're going to have to do a pretty tough post-mortem on this," Murphy said.
He said the governor's office stepped in over the weekend and told the utilities to stop squabbling over which utility owned a pole which held up repairs.
"We don't care whose pole it is. Get the darn pole up immediately," Murphy said, maintaining that the utilities should have been aware of the storms.
Five public hearings will be held in JCP&L's service area as part of the investigation, according to BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.
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