Atlantic City Electric restoration efforts continue in South Jersey
Atlantic CIty Electric continues to work at restoring power to customers in the wake of Tuesday night's powerful storms in Gloucester, Camden and Burlington counties.
"Service has been restored in many communities but it is common after major storms to have small, isolated pockets of damage that affect service to small groups and individual customers," said the utility in a statement on Saturday afternoon. Those still without power are asked to report their outage even if they have have previously done so.
As of 3:40 p.m. on Saturday, ACE's outage map shows 32,681 customers still without power with 20,000 of those outages alone in Gloucester County. "552 line personnel, 300 tree personnel and an additional 250 support personnel are working on the restoration," said the utility in a tweet, which says all power will be restored by Sunday night.
280,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm.
Spokesman Frank Tedesco says Saturday's rain will not hamper crews."Crews can work in the rain. It would only become an issue if there is lightning and high winds over about 35 MPH," explained Tedesco.
ACE will also make a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross in recognition for its support in establishing cooling centers for their customers in the days after the storm.
PSE&G has restored most of its customers with only 211 customers still affected by their outage. "We are fixing individual service lines that may have been damaged – a process that takes additional time and dedicated personnel to work street by street," said the utility in an email. They are now working on making permanent some temporary repairs that were made during the week. "We may need to take a circuit out of service for a brief period, interrupting power to customers," explains the company. The storm originally left 86,000 PSE&G customers in the dark on Tuesday night.
Gov. Chris Christie said at a Statehouse press conference on Friday that he will only seek a disaster declaration for damage incurred by Tuesday's storms if it's needed to help residents get enhanced assistance or federal relief more quickly. "If there's anything that we need to do that a declaration of emergency would enhance, I'd be happy to do that," Christie said. "I've been instructed at this point by (state lawyers) and by the state police that they don't need one. If they need one, I'll sign on. I don't sign these just for the fun of it. There has to be a reason to do it."
Christie made the comments on Friday as Federal Emergency Management Agency workers were on the ground assessing the damage. During Thursday night's "Ask the Governor, " Christie said the state emergency management office estimates the storms caused $31.5 million worth of damage.
Several politicians have expressed their displeasure with ACE's response, citing a lack of communication. "We need to sit down and make sure this doesn't happen again," Greenwich Mayor George Shivery told the South Jersey Times. "We need to be ready for all situations." Senate President Steve Sweeney, Deputy Speaker John J. Burzichelli and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro called for the state Board of Public Utilities and ACE to "do everything they can" to speed up restoration by "marshalling all resources" and to keep public officials and the general public fully informed on their progress.
The American Red Cross continues to operate several reception centers that provide a place to cool off, get ice, water and charge cell phones. EMS will also be available for medical assistance.
- Clayton: Gloucester County Complex, 1200 N. Delsea Drive 10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Mt. Royal: Mt. Royal Firehouse, 5 Mantua Blvd., Mt Royal, 10:30 A.M. – 8:00 p.m
- Woolwich: Kingsway High School, 203 Kings Highway, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- The Camden County Office of Emergency Management will distribute water to their local municipalities.Full list of cooling stations
- Shamong Township Fire Department at 48 Willow Grove Road,10:30 A.M. – 8:00 P.M
- Day three in the dark: Power company moves up restoration expectation timeline / South Jersey Times
- Farmers among victims of thunderstorms / Courier-Post
The Associated Press contributed to this report