Utility Says Nearly Half Of South Jersey Customers Restored
Atlantic City Electric says they have restored power to nearly half of the 206,000 customers who lost power during the violent thunderstorms early Saturday morning.
As of 3PM on Monday the Atlantic City Electric outage map shows just over 92,000 customers still without power, the most being in Atlantic, Salem & Cumberland counties.
Atlantic City Electric spokesman Matt Likovich says right now “the problem spots at this time are Atlantic County, where there are 67,000 customers without power, Cumberland County with about 23,000 and Salem County about 8300 without service. Our goal right now is to have the majority of customers back in service by sometime on July 4th – and then there could be some pockets of smaller, isolated outages – where those customers will not see service again until Thursday or Friday of this week.”
He says the thunderstorms that caused the outages were very violent, because “we saw evidence of trees literally shearing off the tops of our utility poles and then crashing down onto them poles, snapping them in two…right now we have assistance from New York utilities and Northern New Jersey, and we just got word this morning that PSE + G in Central Jersey is sending us 130 employees…crews and office employees – all available personnel – all hands on deck - are working round the clock to get power restored to our customers.”
The path of destruction left behind is described as worse than Hurricane Irene last summer. Two boys in Salem County died when a pine tree fell on their tent in Salem County.
Cooling centers have been set up for Monday at the following locations:
- Absecon - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School -
- Brigantine Community Center will be open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m
- Linwood City Hall
- Alder Avenue School in Egg Harbor Township will open at noon.
- Galloway Township Middle School on Reeds Road is open and is acting as a shelter
- All branches of the Atlantic County Library system
No animals can be brought to the shelter.
The Hamilton Mall will be a distribution point ice from 2PM-8PM. Each car will be given 1 bag of ice (40 lbs) and 1 case of water (24 bottles).
CONCERN FOR FOOD, PETS, FARMS & RIPOFFS
The length of the outage has raised concern on a number of fronts. The Atlantic County Public Safety office says food that has been in freezers and refrigerators without power since Saturday has likely gone bad and should be disposed of.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Department of Public Health tells Jersey Shore Hurricane News that farms without power and rely on well water to feed their animals may not be able to do so. The state Office of Emergency Management suggests contacting your county office to arrange for a generator.
Many farms rely on well water and without electricity or a generator hooked to the well pump, they will be unable to meet their animals' needs. A single horse or cow in the summer heat could easily consume over 50 gallons of water in a 24 hour period. Previously during extended power outages when generators were unobtainable or the farmers could not keep up with generator fuel needs, County Animal Response Teams (CART) and County Offices of Emergency Management (OEM) were able to coordinate with local fire departments to have tankers deliver water to farms.
Pet owners without air conditioning should make sure their dogs, cats and other furry pets are staying cool and have plenty of fresh cool water to drink.
New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today issued a statement warning merchants that price gouging is prohibited during the states of emergency “During life-threatening emergencies, New Jerseyans should look out for each other – not seek to take advantage of each other,” Chiesa said. “We will look closely at any and all complaints about alleged price gouging. Anyone found to have violated the law will face significant penalties.”
Violations of the price-gouging law are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct event.
The Public Safety Office is gathering information on property damage in order to better qualify for federal disaster relief money. There is a form on their website to complete.
Atlantic City Electric Safety Precautions
Stay away from downed wires. Call 1-800-833-7476 and follow the prompts to report a downed wire or an outage.
Avoid crews working in the street. This will keep you and the crews safe, and allow them to work on restoring your power.
Visit atlanticcityelectric.com for safety tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
If you plan to use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use only when necessary. Don’t overload it and turn it off at night, while you sleep and when you are away from home.
Locate a portable generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage, to avoid the potential hazard of carbon monoxide. Do not connect the generator directly into your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.
Protect food and refrigerated medicine with regular ice in an insulated cooler. If you are without power for more than two hours, refrigerated foods should be placed in a cooler. Foods will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if the door remains closed, and a half-full freezer will generally keep frozen food for up to 24 hours.
Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off the power in your basement.
Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
Take cover if necessary
David Matthau contributed to this story
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