Here we go again: Winter Storm Watch, March 6-7

weather advisory nj transit
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As many residents across Greater Morristown still await restoration of electricity after Friday’s nor’easter, the weather gods are about to test them further with potentially heavy snow.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Tuesday night (March 6, 2018) through Wednesday night (March 7).  Four- to eight inches of snow, and maybe more, are possible, according to the forecast.

Here is the really painful part:

“Heavy wet snow may bring down tree limbs and utility wires, resulting in some power
outages,” the weather service advises.

road work ahead sign, work area ahead
Photo by Kevin Coughlin

As of Monday morning, Jersey Central Power & Light reports 413 customers in Morristown, 943 in Morris Township and 77 in Morris Plains remain without power.

Estimated restoration times: Wednesday at 11:30 pm for the Town and Township, and 11:30 pm Tuesday for the Plains.

Also hard hit: Randolph (2,746 customers out, Wednesday night restoration estimated), the Mendhams (nearly 1,500; Wednesday night), and Harding (1,113; Wednesday night). Across Morris County, outages still affect 22,427 customers.

“Large parts of the eastern seaboard were slammed by this winter storm and unfortunately our northern New Jersey area got hit extremely hard,” Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L, said in a statement Sunday night.

“The high winds were a big challenge to our initial restoration efforts since it was unsafe for our crews to go up in buckets and make repairs. Plus, the wet, heavy snow and
hundreds of road closures made it almost impossible to travel to some damage locations. JCP&L crews and other personnel will continue to work round-the-clock to make repairs and deploy resources as needed until all customers are restored.”

Woodland Avenue, where Morris Township’s municipal building is located, remained closed on Monday morning, police reported.

And the Morris School District canceled classes because of concerns about impassable roads.

More than 1,600 JCP&L linemen, damage assessors, hazard responders, forestry personnel, dispatchers and contractors have responded, and more than 430 line workers from other FirstEnergy utilities and contractors were on-site or in transit to help restore power in northern New Jersey, where about 90,000 customers were in the dark, JCP&L said.

Many of those crews had been restoring power in Ohio and West Virginia after the winter storm.

Another 200 hazard responders are heading to New Jersey to inspect damage locations to determine what repair equipment is needed. The effort includes helicopters and aerial drones, JCP&L said.

The utility has established a staging site and mobile command center at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, and says it has increased updates on Twitter , Facebook  and online.

JCP&L reminds customers to immediately report downed wires at 888- LIGHTSS (888-544-4877), or to local police or fire departments. Avoid downed wires even if they don’t appear to be live. “Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris,” the utility warns.

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