CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Township Deputy Mayor Karen Swartz reported that JCP&L has extra workers on the ground, but Chatham residents may have to wait until Monday before power is restored, according to a Saturday afternoon conference call with JCP&L officials.

"They have 1,500 extra workers on the ground right now," Swartz said. "Still, I can't imagine that power will be restored in the township until Monday.

"There remain over 800 Township homes without electricity, with our entire area, above I-78 into Northwest Morris, Sussex and Hunterdon totaling over 100,000 homes without power. Residents may see a JCP&L truck stop in their neighborhoods, and see men get out, etc, before just moving along. This is the systemic evaluation process and it's frustrating.'

Sign Up for E-News

On the call, JCP&L warned of touching downed wires that appear dead, confirming that a death had occurred in such a situation.

"Please note that while JCP&L did not provide details, there has in fact been a fatality reported due to contact with a downed wire this morning," Swartz said.

"For our residents without power who are thinking of relocating, now is a good time to do it. Restoration before (Sunday) is of only the slimmest possibilities. For much of this area JCP&L is estimating 2-3 days.  Each area is different and there are hospitals, residents on well-water, etc to be accounted for."  

Swartz expects an update and a geographical breakdown sometime Saturday night.