JCP&L Storm Response Slammed by Hunterdon Freeholder Director Holt

Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Matt Holt. Credits: Curtis Leeds / TAPinto Flemington file photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to include a response from JCP&L.

FLEMINGTON, NJ - Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Matt Holt has slammed the performance of Jersey Central Power & Light in the wake of Friday’s nor’easter as “unacceptable.

“It is not like we haven’t been through this before,” Holt said in a press release issued by the county.  “I suspect there will be a post mortem on these events, where the company can explain how the resiliency we have heard so much about wasn’t there.”

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About 29 percent of JCP&L's 60,000 Hunterdon customers were without power Sunday afternoon, down from more than 50 percent yesterday.

"We spoke to Freeholder Holt about his comments this evening," JCP&L spokesperson Ron Marano said. "We are working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible and continue to bring additional available line, hazard responder and forestry crews in to support the effort."

Marano called Friday's nor'easter "a major storm event that hit northern New Jersey, including Hunterdon County, especially hard."

Marano said JCP&L has had a representative at Hunterdon's Office of Emergency Management the past two days and has been working closely with OEM.

"We welcome the opportunity to attend a freeholder meeting and report out on the significant damage Winter Storm Riley caused," he said.

Holt praised the work of the county’s Communications Center, Office of Emergency Management, and Department of Public Works in response to the impact of the storm.

“Our 911 center, OEM staff, and DPW crews have been working round the clock since Friday to monitor, direct and assist emergency response throughout the county and to clear roadways, first of snow and later of downed trees,” he said.  

County offices will be open tomorrow, Holt said. Meanwhile, Holt said he’s contacted JCP&L “to let them know that their projections that some will be without power until Tuesday or Wednesday of this week is totally unacceptable.”

Hunterdon County Public Safety Director George Wagner reported that the county has used its outgoing telephone emergency notification system, as well as the county website and Facebook, to help advise residents of the availability of warming and charging stations.

Holt announced on Friday that he is seeking re-election to the Freeholder board, to which he was first elected in 2006.

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