SUMMIT, NJ – About 460,000 JCP&L customers lost power after a pair of nor'easters pummeled the Morris County area earlier this month.
The company restored power for nearly three-quarters of those who lost it during a March 1 nor'easter, leaving 17,000 customers still waiting to have their electricity restored when the second storm hit less than a week later on Wednesday evening.
The two storms left more than 100,000 JCP&L customers waiting for power. As of Monday morning, the Morris County Office of Emergency Management estimated the number of county residents that still do not have electricity is about 1,800, with the highest number of remaining outages in Chatham and Long Hill townships.
A major source of power loss was fallen trees. Approximately 15,000 trees have been removed from storm-affected areas. As of Thursday, JCP&L President Jim Fakult said he was not able to estimate when all power would be restored. The hope was to have an estimate later in the afternoon or evening.
Information released Monday by the county Office of Emergency Management did not mention when officials thought power would be fully restored.
Fakult the number of JCP&L employees working to restore service is approximately 4,500—triple its normal workforce. More than 2,000 linemen are included in the effort. Some came from as far as Florida and Texas.
The first storm hit northern New Jersey hardest, primarily in Morris, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties. The second nor'easter hit northern and central New Jersey and dumped as much as 25 inches of wet, heavy snow in some areas of northern New Jersey.
Those who have been without electricity since the first storm have priority over others, Fakult said, and then the focus will shift to restoring areas with the highest population density once high-priority customers can finally turn on their lights.
Besides the heavy snow and falling trees, dangerous roads and high winds also presented problems and slowed down the restoration process. When winds exceed 35 mph, JCP&L cannot use its bucket trucks.