by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown, which lost power around 6 o’clock this morning, August 28, may remain in the dark for “several days,” said a spokesman for Jersey Central Power & Light.
“It’s fair to say it will be several days,” said Ron Morano of JCP&L.
The Whippany River flooded a substation on Ridgedale Avenue, and there may not be much anyone can do until the water recedes, Ron said.
“There is nothing to work on. It’s under water,” he said. “These are flood levels like we’ve never seen before.”
Around New Jersey, 262,000 JCP&L customers are without power because of Hurricane Irene. Repair crews have been standing by; it was too dangerous for them to try restoring power overnight, Ron said.
As of 10:15 this morning, forecasts were giving the utility hope that soon it could send out crews to assess the damage statewide.
“We’re seeing the end of it approaching. It’s stopped raining in Central Jersey,” Ron said. “Once we assess everything, we will have a better understanding of the situation.”
Area officials warned residents prior to the storm to stock at least 3 days’ worth of essentials, including water, food, flashlights, and batteries.
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty and other officials are urging residents to stay inside. Trees can topple at any time in the soggy soil, and motorists have been stranded on flooded streets in Morris Township and Morris Plains, according to officials in those towns.