Thousands without power, but nor’easter’s impacts just beginning
Update, 2 p.m.: The storm's beginning to cause damage and shut down train lines, with the fiercest winds along the Jersey Shore.
TRENTON — New Jersey's electric utilities are dealing with thousands of power outages from Monday's nor'easter.
Heavy rains and strong winds will spread across state on Monday, with an extended period of 40 to 50 mph gusts inland and 50 to 60 mph gusts along the coast, according to Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow,
"I still suspect the rain will be torrential for a time. However, I also won't be surprised if rainfall totals don't live up to expectations," Zarrow said. "The GFS (model) in particular has lightened up on the rain forecast, especially for inland NJ."
The storm is expected to last into Tuesday, according to Zarrow.
As of 11:15 a.m. nearly 10,000 customers were out across the state. JCP&L reported over 5,200 outages in Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties on its outage map while 1,771 PSE&G customers were in the dark mostly in western Monmouth County. Atlantic City Electric's outage map showed over 3,000 without power mostly in Atlantic and Camden counties.
"We are preparing for a busy day. We'll have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with extra tree personnel and equipment at the ready," John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G, said in a statement.
Atlantic City Electric is also prepared for clearing trees that may come down during the nor'easter.
"In addition to approximately 125 internal linemen, Atlantic City Electric has an additional 160 overhead line contractors and tree-trimming personnel as well as crews from its sister utilities Delmarva Power and Pepco available to assist in any restoration effort," the company said in a statement.
JCP&L urged its customers to be prepared for the storm, including having a flashlight, fresh batteries, and a portable radio handy, along with charging up cell phones. The utilities also suggested having bottled water, blankets, sleeping bags and foods that don't require cooking.
All the utilities also stressed that any wires on the ground should be considered live and reported immediately.
As winds kicked up on Monday morning, New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams said drivers need to focus even more of their attention on the road.
"Wipers on and lights on through the storm," Williams said. "Concentrate on your driving today. Crosswinds could be extremely dangerous, especially in open areas and on bridges. Be aware of trucks, which are very susceptible to tipping."
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry was suspended on Monday because of high winds and rough seas.
Here's what you'll need to know all day long:
ON THE RADIO: Listen to New Jersey 101.5 anytime on air, online or on your phone by downloading the New Jersey 101.5 app. (In addition to weather and news updates, we'll be playing music all weekend)
WEATHER: Keep an eye on Dan Zarrow's blog. Unlike some weather forecasters, Dan's now about to hype news he's not sure of. He'll tell you what he knows, what he does't, and why — there's no better way to keep on top of the storm as it develops.
TRAFFIC AND ROADS: Visit NJ1015.com/traffic for current alerts, and download the New Jersey 101.5 app to get notifications as traffic issues pop up. The New Jersey Department of Transportation issues alerts through 511nj.org.
POWER: PSE&G customers: See PSE&G's power map for outages and report downed trees, gas leaks, other emergencies or outages to 800-436-PSEG. JCP&L customers: See JCP&L's map for outages. Call in issues to 888-LIGHTSS or report your outage online. Atlantic City Electric customers: See Atlantic City Electric's map or call 800-833-7476 for any issues.
SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Announcements are updated in real-time at NJ1015.com/closings. Are you a school official? You can register your district at the link as well.
USING A GENERATOR? Here's how to keep safe. Carbon monoxide poisoning caused five New Jersey deaths in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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