A high voltage power line that fell across Route 80 in Morris County knocked out power for approximately 60,000 customers in Morris and Sussex counties on one of the hottest days of the year.

Jefferson in Morris County and Sparta in Sussex County were the hardest hit by the outages on Tuesday afternoon.

JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig said that the number of customers without power was down to around 55,000 as of 5 p.m. Multiple substations re-energized using other lines are helping bring customers back online once an inspection is complete because of the high voltage line involved.

"We are currently inspecting the substations affected by that line. If those inspections come back clean and there's no damage and everything is safe to begin restoration we should be able to begin restoration within a couple hours," Hoening said.

The line sparked a small brush fire along Route 80 which is under control, Hoening said.

Lanes were closed in both directions on Route 80 near Exit 34 in Roxbury. As of 4:30 p.m., only one lane was closed westbound and all lanes were open eastbound.

Route 46 and Route 10 took on additional traffic from drivers trying to get around the delay.

Temperatures in the 90s combined with high humidity created a heat index of between 100 and 105 degrees.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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