ROXBURY, NJ – (Updated 2:20 p.m.) Jersey Central Power & Light was using helicopters today to access the condition of its damaged power grid in Morris County, as more than 35,000 county residents – including more than 2,500 in Roxbury – remained without electricity following Friday’s storm, officials said.
As of Sunday afternoon, Roxbury schools will be on a delayed opening on Monday, officials said.
“Due to the magnitude of the outage, getting specific information on the restoration time for a particular neighborhood or street in your jurisdiction is not possible at this time while JCP&L remains in storm mode,” said the Morris County Office of Emergency Management (MCOEM).
Tentatively, the company expects all power to be restored to northern Morris County by Wednesday, but the MCOEM stressed that JCP&L still has homes and buildings that do not have power but have not been entered into its outage report system.
“It is imperative that all locations without power are entered,” said emergency management. “To report outages, customers may call 1-888-LIGHTSS (888-544-4877), go to www.jcp-l.com, or click on the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com. This is what allows JCP&L the ability manage the prioritization process and make sure power is restored.”
As of noon Sunday, there were about 2,570 customers in Roxbury without power, according to JCP&L, which said all 17 of its circuits in the township were damaged. That’s about half the number of customers who were without electricity on Saturday.
Emergency management said JCP&L called contractors from out of state to help with the restoration effort. Those crews began arriving Sunday, it said.
“We do have some schools in Morris County that are without power,” said MCOEM. It noted, that, although schools “are part of the critical facility listing,” they are not getting power restored on a different schedule from any other customers.
At about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic announced that "due to continued power outages and road closures," she decided to daly opening of Roxbury schools on Monday. "At this point, we have one school without power in the district, Nixon elementary school," said Radulic in a statement. "In addition, the high school will have reduced lunch options due to power issues in the kitchen area. We have plans in place to make accommodations in both situations."
Radulic said she expects to receive updated information from the police, DPW, OEM and JCP & L by 5pm this evening.
Roxbury Department of Public Works Director Rick Blood said crews were steadfastly clearing downed trees that had blocked streets, including Mountain Road and Mount Arlington Boulevard. He said Shippenport Road, where up to 12 trees fell and took out utility lines, is still "choked up" and is unlikely to be cleared until Monday. "At one point Friday night the only way into Short Hills was off Oneida," Blood said. "We couldn’t get at it from the boulevard anywhere."
Blood noted that "most of Mount Arlington" remained without power Sunday.
Roxbury Township Councilman Robert DeFillippo said the township doesn't have much control over JCP&L's efforts to restore power, but he said Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd "is making certain JCP&L is doing everything in its power" to attend to the township. "That's not very comforting to residents without power for a couple of days," acknowledged DeFillippo. "It's a difficult situation. We're certainly doing whatever we can at the township level."
Click here to read a statement from JCP&L.