Power outage knocks Morristown hospital offline; fire department called to Qdoba

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Nearly 1,000 customers, including Morristown Medical Center, lost power for more than four hours on Saturday morning, Oct. 1, because of a downed line and burnt fuses on Franklin Avenue, said a spokesman for Jersey Central Power & Light.

The hospital operated on backup generators and was restored with other customers at 9:40 a.m., said JCP&L’s Pete Johner.

The power went out at 5:12 a.m. for 979 customers, he said. It’s not clear what knocked down the lines. He said it could have been caused by contact with an animal, or a lightning strike from an overnight storm. The situation was not connected with JCP&L’s temporary restoration of power after Tropical Storm Irene or other electrical issues in town, he said.

(Irene knocked out a substation, forcing JCP&L to make temporary arrangements to supply power to Morristown. Separately, the state has ordered an investigation of underground electrical problems that have sparked fires and explosions in JCP&L’s underground network in Morristown.)

In an unrelated matter, the Morristown fire department responded to a smoky condition at the Qdoba restaurant on South Street on Saturday morning.  An electrical short in an indoor transformer created the smoke, according to the fire department, which reported no injuries and said the restaurant remains open for business.

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