Tens of thousands without power, stranded after nor’easter in NJ
TRENTON — The cleanup continued on Saturday from the nor'easter that dropped a foot of snow in North Jersey and caused serious beach erosion along the Jersey Shore.
"It certainly looks and sounds a lot calmer outside this morning. Aside from a few stray snowflakes, precipitation from our nor'easter has come to an end. The 60+ mph wind gusts are long gone," New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
He said the high tide was lower than expected on Friday night but the next three high tide cycles (Saturday morning, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning) could cause minor to moderate flooding along the shore.
"Tidal flooding was minor but the beaches got hit pretty hard," North Wildwod Mayor Patrick Rosenello said. "We will not know the extent of the damage until the storm is over and we can evaluate.":
The most serious issues are with power and transportation, with heavy snow, branches and trees taking down power lines that knocked out power to thousands of JCP&L, PSE&G and Atlantic City customers, especially in North Jersey.
As of noon., more than 156,000 remained in the dark on their respective outage maps:
- JCP&L: 131,937 customers mostly in Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties
- PSE&G: 14,608 customers mostly in Essex, Mercer, Somerset and Union counties
- Atlantic City Electric: 9,517 customers mostly in Atlantic,Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties
JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said the first step in restoration is making conditions safe for crews by clearing out trees that block their work areas. "You make it safe and then you do repairs," Morano said.
“We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to work around the clock to safely restore their service. The storm’s heavy wet snow, driving rains and gusting winds caused serious damage to equipment. We have more than 200 damaged poles and over 1,000 spans of downed wire," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L in a statement.
The utility also offered free water and ice to its customers at a number of supermarkets in the affected areas
Some PSE&G customers may not get their power restored until Sunday evening especially those affected by damaged poles and individual service wires, according to spokeswoman Karen Johnson.
"Some customers who had their power restored may lose it for a period of time as workers take lines out of service so they can safely repair damaged equipment," Johnson said.
Amtrak suspended service on the Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington on Saturday morning citing power outages between Philadelphia and New York. Service resumed on a modified schedule at 11 a.m.
"There is a commercial power outage between Philadelphia and Trenton and our trains are unable to operate," Amtrak spokeswoman Karen Toll told New Jersey 101.5. She said crews are working to restore power and they hope to restore service by mid-morning.
Service on SEPTA's West Trenton and Trenton lines was also suspended by the outage.
NJ Transit ran a regular Saturday schedule on most of its lines. The Atlantic City Line was suspended because of an Amtrak wire issue near Philadelphia and the River Line was suspended as well.
Cross-honoring is in effect on rail, light rail, buses and private carriers on Friday and Saturday due to the storm. PATH is also cross honoring.
Sixty-five flights were cancelled in an out of Newark Liberty Airport on Saturday morning, according to FlightAware.com.