Thousands still without power in NJ as third storm looms
LEBANON TOWNSHIP — While both JCP&L and PSE&G restored power for thousands of customers as of Sunday morning, both utility companies fell short of their goals of having power fully restored across the state.
"There are a few hundred customers from Riley (the first nor'easter) that we are continuing to restore," JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said in an email on Sunday morning. Morano said that 6,200 lines workers, hazard responders and assessors, forestry crews, dispatchers and electrical contractors continue working thoughout their service area.
Morano said workers so far have replaced over 700 poles and 1,800 spans of wire and reopened 2,300 roads closed by the downed trees and wires.
The utility set a deadline of 11:30 p.m. on Sunday for all customers to get their power back.
“We greatly appreciate the patience our customers have shown during this undertaking, including the many people who have stopped by our line shops and staging areas to give homemade treats to our workers as a way of showing their appreciation of the hard work being done in very challenging conditions," JCP&L president Jim Fakult said in a statement.
There may be cases where damage to individual homes still needs to be repaired. Those customers should still report their outage.even at this late stage, Morano said.
PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson said the company continues working on its restoration efforts, and is bringing in even more tree trimmers.
"By Sunday morning, 645 out-of-state line workers will be working from three staging areas," Johnson said. "They are supplementing 132 contractors already working for PSE&G."
Johnson said she expected all customers to have power restored by Sunday night.
As of 2:45 p.m. on Sunday morning nearly 24,000 customers were without power.
- JCP&L: 16,446 customers mostly in Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset counties
- PSE&G: 4,590 customers mostly in Burlington, Essex, Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties
- Rockland & Orange Electric: 2,845 customers in Bergen County
- Atlantic City Electric has restored most of its customers
Some residents of hard hit Lebanon Township in Hunterdon County, where nearly 60 per cent of the town was without power because of the two storms, said they got power back by Saturday night.
"Sutton rd HAS POWER!!!" Leanne DeTorres happily wrote on the Lebanon Township Community Bulletin Board on Facebook.
Susannah Allen Lanka wrote, "Thankfully we are back to full power now, but it took 4 or 5 days to even see a presence in the area."
"My power was restored yesterday afternoon," Matt Nunn wrote.
Not everyone got their power back. "My 76 yr old Mom lives on Bunn St. and has had no power for 9 days now," Darlene Carson Wilcox-Smith wrote.
"Crews are at my house now at Beavers Rd Califon @ 730 a.m. Sunday. Missed the deadline but hopefully we will be successful today," Karen Parnham wrote.
The utilities came under more criticism for their pace in restoration from Gov. Phil Murphy and Congressman Josh Gottheimer.
"It's clear that JCP&L and O&R have not been moving fast enough to get the lights back on and they have not had a well-coordinated effort. We need to return power to residents of North Jersey, who have been living in the dark for more than a week. I hope that company executives will join me in meeting in front of the residents that they have let down this week, and I hope that they will do everything in their power to fix this mess," said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).
Murphy called what he said was JCP&L's lack of preperation for the storms as "embarrassing and unacceptable."
“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 wrote in a statement.