338,000 NJ utility customers in the dark after snowstorm
Hundreds of thousands of people were without power Wednesday evening after a nor'easter snowfall that brought dangerous lightning, fallen trees and countless traffic accidents.
Tens of thousands of customers of the state's four electric utilities already were without power following last week's nor'easter, which dropped a foot of snow in North Jersey and caused tidal flooding along the coast.
Heavy snow brought down tree limbs and power lines, causing the number of outages to climb through the afternoon and early evening.
One of the hardest-hit counties Wednesday was Burlington, which had 40,000 PSE&G customers, 10,000 Atlantic City Electric customers and another 9,500 JCP&L customers in the dark as of 7:30 p.m.
PSE&G was reporting more than 135,000 customers without power.
Their hardest-hit locations were Bordentown City, Bordentown Township, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Evesham, Mount Laurel and Willingboro in Burlington County; Maplewood and Montclair in Essex County; South Brunswick, Piscataway and South Plainfield in Middlesex County; Franklin and North Plainfield in Somerset County; Princeton and Hamilton in Mercer County; and Union Township in Union County.
JCP&L was reporting nearly 145,000 customers without power Wednesday night.
Their darkest areas included Chester Township, Montville, Morris, Morristown and Parsippany-Troy Hills in Morris County; Springfield in Union County; and Bernards and Warren Township in Somerset County.
Rockland & Orange had less than 38,000 without power. Atlantic City Electric had 24,000.
By comparison, after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, 1.6 to 2.4 million lost power.
After last week's storm, some Republican lawmakers criticized Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy for the response to the power outages, which largely affected areas they represent.
Murphy acknowledged the frustration Tuesday and promised to "figure out what worked and what didn't work."
The governor said he expected to do a post-mortem on the storm "and figure out what worked and what didn't work."
The utilities said dangerous wind gusts prevented workers from fixing power lines last week, while snowy conditions hamper immediate repairs Wednesday.