The next few days could be dark and chilly for some Morris Township residents.
In a statement on Saturday afternoon, municipal officials said “it may take several days to have the power restored to all customers” of Jersey Central Power & Light.
Approximately 1,800 Morris Township customers remained without power as of mid-afternoon, with no estimated restoration time, the Township mayor and committee said in a joint statement.
Some 441 customers remained out in Morristown and another 81 were without power in Morris Plains.
Jersey Central is offering free water and ice to customers without power at Kings, Shop-Rite, Acme, and other area supermarkets.
“We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to work around the clock to safely restore their service,” Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L, said in a statement.
“The storm’s heavy wet snow, driving rains and gusting winds caused serious damage to equipment. We have more than 200 damaged poles and over 1,000 spans of downed wire,” Fakult said.
While power has been restored to 75,000 customers across northern and central New Jersey, outages still are affecting 130,000, according to the JCP&L. Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties were hardest hit by Friday’s nor’easter, the company said.
Morris County officials said professional 911 operators across the county handled 5,782 calls between 6 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday.
(Please do NOT dial 911 to inquire about power restoration. Authorities ask that you report all outages by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS (888-544-4877), or go to www.jcp-l.com, or click on the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com.)
Morris Township’s Mt. Kemble fire station at 1 Spring Brook Road will stay open overnight and on Sunday for Township residents who need to warm up or charge phone batteries.
“The Township is diligently working to address power outages, trees down, wires down and road closures from yesterday’s Nor’Easter. Northwest New Jersey was severely impacted,” , the Township mayor and committee said in a statement.
“Our Police, Fire, OEM and Department of Public Works are working around the clock to insure the safety of our residents… In Morris Township we have many trees and wires down. Please stay away from any downed wires as they could be energized.”
Residents without power should call 1-888-LIGHTSS to report their home address, the officials said.
Morristown residents who lack heat or electricity can seek refuge overnight at the fire house at 161 Speedwell Ave. The Morris Plains Community Center at 51 Jim Fear Drive will serve the same function during the day on Saturday and Sunday.
A tree struck the garage of a home on Woodlawn Drive in Morristown on Friday. Nobody was injured, said Fire Chief Robert Flanagan. His men were plenty busy; he said Capt. Stuart Williamson’s tour dealt with seven trees tangled in power lines.
In all, Morristown firefighters responded to 25 calls, and also hosted about a dozen residents who came to the fire station to recharge batteries, Flanagan said. Most of the Second Ward and much of the Third Ward lost power during the height of the storm, with sporadic outages in the First and Fourth, the Fire Chief said.
Morris Township officials said JCP&L’s stated priorities are eliminating safety hazards that have closed roads, then securing critical infrastructure such as sewer and water plants, emergency medical facilities and shelters. Restoration of customer service comes next.