Efforts continue to fix power lines knocked down by that freak October snowstorm 3 days ago.

As of late yesterday afternoon, about 300 thousand Jersey homes and businesses were still without electricity.

Governor Christie says he understands that a lot of folks are still frustrated because they don't have power, but he wants to assure everybody "that efforts to restore power to critical infrastructure and homes here in New Jersey are moving forward as quickly as possible."

Christie - who's holding a conference call with representatives of the major utilities in the state every day - says one major problem is that after fallen trees are cleared away and transmission lines are replaced, they throw the switch to bring power back to those lines and "then, where individual lines are down throughout that area - transformers start blowing everywhere - they have to go back and fix those lines and those transformers - there's no way for them to really know where those lines are and how many are affected until they reenergize those substations."

He says "there are over 12 hundred crews that are on the roads, dealing with removing downed trees and repairing lines…the goal is to have 95 percent of people back on line by Thursday."


Courtesy Governor's Office

UTILITY OUTAGE MAPS

Ron Morano, a spokesman for JCP & L, says "we've faced conditions where our foresters went out on a tree order and literally had to cut through 3 or 4 trees to get to the tree that was blocking our facility."

Listen to JCP+L President Ron Morano update Jim Gearhart on the restoration of service.

He says they are applying some of the lesions learned from hurricane Irene, since "we are holding a daily update call for Mayors and municipal officials at 4 p.m. every day - to give them an update on the restoration…we're providing county restoration estimates and city restoration estimates as part of that- based upon the feedback we received following Irene."

PSE & G spokeswoman Karen Johnson says restoration is taking time because "there are individual service lines that are down, there are other major lines that came down as a result of huge tree limbs falling, as a result of the heavy snow…we're obviously working around the clock -we do expect to meet the state's goal of having at least 95 percent of electric customers restored by Thursday."

She also says "this is highly unusual - you know typically you can have some cold weather (in October) but we've never really experienced anything like this before that at least I'm aware of."