ROXBURY, NJ - The good news for customers of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) in Roxbury: As of Friday afternoon, there were fewer than 340 of you remaining without power.
The bad news? If you are among those who lost power in the most recent storm, you might not get electricity until Wednesday.
The company said 339 of its 10,039 customers in Roxbury, about 3 percent, remained without power as of 4:30 p.m. on Friday. It said 12 of its 17 circuits in the township remained impacted by the recent storms. The company said it is almost finished restoring power to those affected by the March 2 storm.
"JCP&L has established an estimated time of restoration of 11:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10, for customers in Morris County and North Jersey who remain out of service from the first storm," said the company in a Friday statement. However, those whose homes went dark after the latest snowstorm might not see service until 11:30 p.m. on March 14, it said.
"We know estimated times of restoration are very important," said the utility. "We continue to work on local estimates and will update our outage maps as those estimates are established. We also are bringing in more than 400 additional workers to assist with the effort, bringing our total storm workforce to more than 5,000."
JCP&L said the storms cut power to more than 465,000 customers. About 80,000 remain in the dark, "including about 10,000 in North New Jersey who remain out of service since the first storm hit," it said.
The company received a mixture of scathing criticism and appreciative praise on social media. On its Facebook page, JCP&L tried to convey the magnitude of the challenge it is facing due to the winter storms, named Riley and Quinn.
"We’ve received a lot of comments about the extent of the damage from Riley and Quinn," it said. "These back-to-back nor’easters packed a devastating punch to the electric system that far surpassed a normal snowstorm, particularly in the heavily forested area of NNJ. The high winds and large accumulations of heavy, wet snow created road closures, treacherous conditions and extensive tree and equipment damage."
Tried to Be Prepared
The company insisted it was "ready for these storms and took decisive steps to deploy resources" it expected to be most impacted.
"We also secured additional personnel in advance, had equipment ready to go and had storm response plans in place based on weather forecasts," said JCP&L. "Both of these storms truly lived up to the hype, with 60 mph wind gusts during Riley, and up to 25 inches of snow from Quinn."
Roxbury's 339 people without power are among about 28,000 JCP&L customers in the same boat in Morris County, according to the Morris County Office of Emergency Management (MCOEM). The county said it is now concerned about "the possibility of a third storm that may strike our area" Sunday night.
"At the time of this communication, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in the many storm models that we have reviewed," said MCOEM. "Confidence is high that a storm will form, but there is significant uncertainty with regard to the exact track of the storm. Some models show a storm system developing just off-shore over the mid-Atlantic coast that may travel close to shore as it moves to the northeast."
The county said the storm has the potential of bringing another seven inches of snow to the county.