Thousands without power in NJ as high winds knock down power lines, tree limbs
It's two hands on the wheel as blustery winds blow across New Jersey on Sunday bringing down tree branches and power lines plunging thousands into darkness.
"Mother Nature has been quite angry this weekend, throwing New Jersey a mix of powerful thunderstorms, wintry weather, and ferocious winds Saturday night and Sunday morning," meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. Penny sized hail was reported in Woolwich and South Harrison in Gloucester while a 71 MPH gust was reported in Cape May County that flipped over a 32-foot camper early Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service's High Wind Warning is in effect until noon for wind out of the northwest of 25 to 35 MPH with gusts up to 60 MPH.
Nearly 23,000 are in the dark as of 6:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
- JCP&L's outage map shows nearly 15,000 without power mostly in Morris, Mercer, Hunterdon, Monmouth Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties. Randolph, Harding, Mine Hill, Chester and Roxbury are especially hard hit in Morris County.
- PSE&G outage map shows over 5,000 customers are without power with the most outages in Burlington, Union and Somerset counties.
- Atlantic City Electric's 3,000 outages are focused mostly in Salem County.
“We take every storm with the potential for outages seriously and have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with auxiliary equipment at the ready,” said John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G. “Strong winds can make it difficult for our trucks to get around, and our crews can’t go up in buckets to make repairs until the winds subside. Should there be outages, please know that we will restore customers as quickly and safely as possible.”
JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said crews are out working to restore power.
"Our crews are out there responding and restoring customers. We had additional support come in today and we have tree contractors helping us with tree related outages," Morano said. "Safety is our number one concern each and every day not only of our workers but the general public as well."
Newark Liberty is reporting 2 hour delays on inbound flights according to FlightAware.com with dozens of delayed and cancelled flights.
Morano advises people to stay away from downed power lines.
Drivers can expect wind gusts to try and push their cars off the road along with branches and other debris on the road. The speed on the George Washington Bridge is reduced to 35 MPH with a ban on empty trailers. The speed on the Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge has been reduced to 25 MPH.
Other closures include:
- Route 18 southbound - CLOSED between Race Track Road and Rues Lane in East Brunswick
- Route 206 northbound - CLOSED between Brooks Boulevard and Dukes Parkway in Hillsborough
- Route 179 north/southbound - CLOSED between Route 29 and Route 518 in Lambertville