Thousands may not get power back until Tuesday, utility says
TRENTON — Thousands in Central and North Jersey may not get their power back until at least Tuesday or Wednesday following Friday's powerful nor'easter
Crews from JCP&L, PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric continue to work at restoring power in the aftermath of the nor'easter that saw wind gusts of 60+ mph that pushed over trees weakened by an already saturated ground.
JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said the majority of its customers in Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, southern Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren counties will be restored by 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Customers hardest hit in northern Morris and Sussex counties will likely not get restored until Wednesday.
"There's just an incredible amount of damage," Morano said. Crews have repaired over 200 damaged poles and 1,000+ spans of downed wire, with hundreds of trees down across its service area, according to Morano, who said they've also cleared 500 roads.
"We're working all of our mayors and municipal officials and emergency management officials to get information about locations where we need to clear trees from our facilities and make conditions safe for our crews," Morano said.
Additional forestry and utility crews are also being brought in to help clear out trees and make repairs. They will be based at a staging area in Sussex County where poles, cable and other material will be readily available.
The utility also offered free water and ice to its customers at a number of supermarkets in the affected areas
Why so many fallen trees? "A combination of torrential rain and tropical storm force wind gusts combined with soggy ground and fierce winds equal a lot of downed trees," Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Zarrow said the nor'easter was the second storm this season to 'bomb out,' significantly strengthening off the Atlantic coast. Zarrow said the nor'easter was the second storm this season to 'bomb out,' significantly strengthening off the Atlantic coast.
As of 11:55 a.m. over 102,000 customers were still in the dark.
PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson said crews worked through the night making repairs for those affected by damaged poles and individual service wires that came down during the storm. She said the utility expects to have all customers who lost their power because of the nor'easter no later than midnight on Sunday.
Two people from New Jersey died because of the storm on Friday. Police in Andover said a man was killed when he touched a live wire. Connecticut State Police told News 12 New Jersey a Hawthorne man was killed when a tree fell on his car as he drove on the Merritt Parkway in Stamford.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.