Restoration efforts after Monday's strong thunderstorms will be hampered by continued wet weather on Tuesday.

"It's going to be a wet day. The heaviest rain will be this morning, through about 8 a.m. Hopefully we're done with severe weather, although I wouldn't rule out a storm cell or two on the stronger side," Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said early Tuesday.

Utility companies made some progress restoring power overnight, with around 164,000 JCP&L, PSE&G, and Atlantic City Electric customers still without power, down from 355,000 customers that were in the dark late Monday night.

Downed wires on Route 34 in Wall Twp (Paul Seredy, Townsquare Media NJ)

"The utilities are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Due to the severity of the storm damage, it may take up to several days. Please check on your neighbors, particularly anyone elderly or infirm," the state Board of Public Utilities said in a message on its Twitter account.

JCP&L spokesman Cliff Cole told New Jersey 101.5 the utility is bringing in additional repair crews from out-of-state. In a message on their Twitter account the utility said it it would be a "multi-day restoration

The outages as of 1:20 p.m:

120,674 JCP&L customers were without power, mostly in:

  • Burlington (North Hanover and Pemberton Township)
  • Mercer (East Windsor, Robbinsville and West Windsor)
  • Middlesex (Old Bridge, Sayreville, and South Amboy)
  • Monmouth (Belmar, Brielle, Colts Neck, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Howell, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro, Middletown, Millstone, Neptune Borough, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Sea Girt, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Upper Freehold, and Wall)
  • Ocean (Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Plumsted, and Point Pleasant Borough)

43,418 PSE&G customers were without power, mostly in:

  • Burlington (Bordentown City, Edgewater Park, Lumberton, Mansfield, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, and Willingboro)
  • Camden (Camden, Cherry Hill, and Collingswood)
  • Gloucester (Deptford, Washington Twp., and West Deptford)
  • Mercer (Hamilton and West Windsor)
  • Middlesex (scattered)
  • Somerset (Bridgewater)

124 Atlantic City Electric customers scattered through its service area

Fallen trees in Howell (Howell PD)

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden called the outages the worst since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The outages prompted the county to open its emergency operations center, which puts its first-responders, emergency management coordinators, public works, and JCP&L under one roof.

Golden said the hardest-hit areas seem to be in the lower part of the county, in a swath roughly along Route 195, from Millstone and Upper Freehold to Howell, Wall, Belmar, Lake Como, and Tinton Falls.

"We have some towns which are totally without power," Golden said.

He said the county communications center received 3,300 calls in the first hour after the storm hit around 6:20 p.m., for EMS needs, trees into homes, and reports of poles and wires down.

Many roads were also closed for the start of the morning commute, including sections of Route 27 in Rahway, Route 35 in Sayreville, and Route 206 in Flanders.

The power outages have also knocked out traffic signals. New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams said that under state law, when you approach a non-functioning traffic light, it should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

NJ Transit's "Dinky" Princeton Shuttle was running buses on Tuesday morning because of trees on the overhead wires. Its Atlantic City Line was also suspended between Lindenwold and Cherry Hill due to a tree on the tracks.

PATCO was not providing service at its Lindenwold and Ashland stations due to a tree that fell on the tracks. Trains will run as locals every 10 to 15 minutes between Woodcrest and 15/16th & Locust.

Fallen trees and wires from Monday's storm (JCP&L)
Flooding on Avenel Street in Avenel (Sean Tauri via RLS Metro Breaking News)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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