Utility expects most power to be restored before next storm
TRENTON — JCP&L crews continue restoration efforts as the next nor'easter bears down on New Jersey.
As of 11:40 a.m. nearly 47,000 customers, mostly in Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties, were still without power according to the utilty's outage map following Friday's nor'easter.
"We've been watching this storm coming for where it will hit most severely so we can position crews ahead of time. We've got better than 3,000 people on the ground so we're very well positioned to manage this incoming storm right now," JCP&L spokesman Chris Eck told New Jersey 101.5.
Eck said another 400 line personnel, damage assessors, hazard responders, forestry personnel, dispatchers and contractors from the utility's sister companies will join the effort on Tuesday.
A second staging area was set up in Morris County so incoming crews have a place to park. It also allows for easy access to poles, lines and transformers for faster repair.
PSE&G said it is sending another 100 line and support personnel to help with JCL&L's restoration efforts at their request. .
"We hope to have the majority of our customers restored by the end of Tuesday, but we are still expecting some of those outages to go into Wednesday and beyond as well," Eck said.
Eck said there are more than 1,300 individual homes that need to be visited to restore power.
"Our newest nor'easter is still expected to dump double-digit snowfall over Northwestern New Jersey on Wednesday, where some areas still have significant snow on the ground from Friday's storm. While winds will be lighter during this storm, it's going to be a heavy, wet snow. Coupled with weakened trees and power infrastructure, I fear power outage numbers will rise once again," Townsquare Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Over 800 roads were closed because downed tress and utility poles, according to Eck.
"The most important thing to us right now is the safety of the public. If you have branches that have come down and you have wires tangled up in them please stay away from them. Let our crews deal with that. We don't want anyone getting hurt because they're impatient," Eck said.
In a message on Twitter sent Monday Gov, Phil Murphy said "Four days after #noreaster, it's unacceptable for tens of thousands of @JCP_L customers to be without power in their homes. Every step must be taken to expedite repairs." Murphy also said his administration was in touch with mayors to offer support.
"The town of Andover had an issue with power and their water system, so @ReadyNJ worked with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection to provide a new generator. That’s the type of communication and collaboration we need to help local communities with the recovery effort," Murphy wrote.