NJ’s power restoration in the home stretch
TRENTON — The majority of customers who lost power from two nor'easters in the past two weeks were finally restored over the weekend, while a third storm takes aim at New Jersey.
Both JCP&L and PSE&G brought in hundreds of line crews, tree cutters, and dispatchers from all over the country to get work on restoration before more snow falls.
JCP&L used drones and helicopters to inspect transmission and distribution systems in the hardest-hit areas.
PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson said that by Monday morning, the utility had returned service to 99 percent of those who lost it on Wednesday.
"They have been working through the night on service restorations to ensure that customers receive power before the next storm brings additional snow and windy conditions late Monday into Tuesday," Johnson said.
Counties in North Jersey most affected by outages were put under a Winter Weather Advisory, for potentially another 2 to 3 inches of snow falling on top of the 2 feet left by last Wednesday's storm.
"We had restored service to the majority of customers from the first storm by late Saturday night, as we said we would, and we are well on our way of meeting our goal of getting the majority of the customers from the second storm restored by late Sunday night," JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said.
At the height of the Wednesday nor'easter, 338,000 customers were without power.
Out-of-state crews will remain in New Jersey during the week to continue their work, and also to help with any additional outages caused by the latest nor'easter.
The most time-consuming restorations remaining for both utilities are individual service lines, according to Johnson.
Morano said this means that your neighbor could be restored but you are not.
"The problem may be isolated to their individual service, and service to the neighbor could be fed from a different circuit. Customers are encouraged to report such problems, even at this latter stage in the restoration process," Morano said.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer continued his weekend tour on Sunday of the hardest-hit area, and furthered his criticism of the management of the utilities that serve his district.
"We’ve seen massive mismanagement among our utility companies. We need to continue to put pressure on them to improve their storm recovery efforts to get the lights on now — and find ways to prevent this from happening again in the future," Gottheimer said in a statement.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday threatened unspecified executive action against JCP&L to speed their restoration efforts.
"I will not accept any of the company’s excuses for why thousands of New Jerseyans continue to be without power. I am prepared to use all the authority at my disposal to get power restored," Murphy said in a statement.
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