No ETA yet for power restoration; caution still advised in Greater Morristown

Utility crew making repairs on Oak Street in Morristown after nor'easter, March 3, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Utility crew making repairs on Oak Street in Morristown after nor'easter, March 3, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


Utility crews made good progress in Morristown overnight, but many homes in Morris Township awoke to dark, chilly homes on Saturday in the wake of the nor’easter that knocked down power lines across Morris County.

There was no estimate of when power will be restored.

“We’re continuing to assess the damage and make sure everyone’s safe, and then do repairs,” said Ron Morano of Jersey Central Power & Light. “This was a very large storm that did incredible damage.”

Some 210,000 JCP&L customers remained without power on Saturday morning, he said. Overnight, 75,000 were restored.

On Saturday in Morristown, 450 customers were out, down from nearly 2,500 on Friday.

In Morris Township, 2,200 customers remained out, down from, 2,652.  In Morris Plains, 260 customers still lacked electricity.

“Thank God it’s not below zero,” said Mayor Tim Dougherty, whose home lost power overnight.

He said the Morristown fire house at 161 Speedwell Ave. will remain open as a warming and charging station for residents.

The Morris Plains Community Center, at 51 Jim Fear Drive, will serve the same function during the day on Saturday and Sunday.

In Morris Township, the municipal building on Woodland Avenue will be open for residents on Saturday, and the Mt. Kemble fire station will be open all night, said Township Mayor Peter Mancuso.

“Thank God no trees fell onto homes,” said Mancuso, who observed a tree across Powderhorn Lane, enmeshed in electrical lines.

Critical care facilities were restored first, Mancuso said, noting that Morristown Medical Center is in good shape.

He said JCP&L usually draws emergency crews from southern states, but this time those crews had their hands full with damage where they were.

Dougherty advised pedestrians to use caution, as occasional gusts of wind still could knock down branches.

The Morristown & Township Library in Morristown also has phone charging stations for public use.

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  1. FirstEnergy simply cannot deal with these type of events – they have laid off too many linemen as part of their consolidation. Just like with Sandy – if the destruction is wide enough, they have no reserves to pull in from PA when this happens. PSEG was not hit as hard, but they were much quicker in getting people up and running again, and they also seem to have much more modern gear and more redundancy. FirstEnergy should also be looking at whether they need to be doing more routine trimming back of trees – they did a great job in my area after Sandy, and came back here last season, but other areas I’ve driven are just obviously problematic and have not been touched since Sandy. Of note, I had power the whole time, and I credit the recent trimming for that.

    As with Sandy, they still don’t seem to have enough smart grid stuff in the field to be able to assess damage and give municipalities any real estimate of restoration. And I remember during that post-Sandy repair they had outside crews idled because the documentation of the system was out of date, wrong or nonexistent. We need heavier regulation on monopoly businesses like this or they’ll continue half-assing things. It’s not like you can switch power companies (without moving).

  2. Pruor to 6PM yesterday, there were big trees on ay least 3 Butterworth houses on western side of Morris Township, each causing significant damage. Police/fire etc responded. Plus, based on these 3, I woud assume more than 3 in Morris Township.

    Your article reports that Mancuso said that no trees fell on houses? If true, why does our mayor not know about these 3 (or more)? Wow.