Mayor: Share-a-generator in Morristown

Remains of a tree that crashed on Colles Avenue, Morristown, after Tropical Storm Isaias. Photo by Susan D'Alessandro


Are the lights on at your house in Morristown?  Do you have a generator you’re not using?  The mayor’s office would love to hear from you.

“If you have a generator and want to share your generator with someone maybe that’s out of power, please let us know at 973-292-6629,” Mayor Tim Dougherty said Friday during his daily COVID-19 update.

Doughty/ Wetmore Avenue, Tropical Storm Isaias, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Eric Hayes

Likewise, he said, residents without power should call so town hall can pair donors and recipients, while Jersey Central Power & Light works to restore service for thousands of homes and businesses that went dark after Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday.

Dougherty said he envisions creating a Generator Share program, like other towns are doing, as hurricane season progresses.

“You know this isn’t going to be the end of this,” he said of the outages. “So we have to be prepared.”

The mayor said these Morristown streets remain without power:

  • 44 Elm St.
  • 45 Elm St.
  • 51 Madison St.
  • 53 Hill St.
  • Colles Avenue
  • Farragut Place
  • Franklin Place
  • Rosemilt Place
  • Sand Hill Road
  • Shady Lane
  • Shenandoah Place
  • Wetmore Avenue

As of 5 pm on Friday, JCP&L reported 1,107 Morristown customers were without power. In Morris Township, 2,016 customers were out, and in Morris Plains, 368. Across Morris County, 44,750 customers were awaiting restoration of service.

Morris Township’s Ginty and Streeter pools still lack enough power to run filtration systems; officials could not predict when or if they will reopen over the weekend.

Lawn on Colles Avenue, Morristown, after the chainsaws, post Isaias, Aug. 7, 2020. Photo by Susan D’Alessandro

Jersey Central has said 85 percent of affected customers will be back online by 11:30 pm Friday. However, some folks could be out until late Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, according to JCP&L’s website.

Downed trees still must be removed from Maxwell Street, Washington Place and the Route 202/Market Street intersection, Dougherty said.

On Thursday night, Morristown’s public works department cleared fallen trees that were blocking Rosemilt Place.

Dougherty said the work proceeded after JCP&L ensured it was safe.

“If they kill the power, we can clear the roads,” the mayor said.


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  1. I think the concept of sharing tools and equipment makes sense.
    I would like this taken two steps further though, have any town residents who are trade handy , and who are able to help some of the home bound and locked down senior residents, single parents, handicapped and others in need , with some minor home repairs get those done.
    Also a publicly aired meeting with these local utility companies needs to be done monthly. This meeting needs to include residents, business owners and those concerned about our well being. There are some questions . Answers needed.
    As Morristowm grows in population , traffic ,and development more communication is in order.
    Let’s work together and do these things.

  2. We had this problem in lavallette years ago, when the residents finally rallied the elected officials feared they would be voted out. Only then did jcp&l upgrade the grid.

  3. Utility companies don’t want the lines underground because they would lose millions of dollars of overtime continually “fixing” the problems after the storms. I’m sure this is the wink wink deal the companies’ unions have with the elected officials.

  4. I have two generators I am not using any longer. If you wish to borrow, please call 973-868-4395. Lauren

  5. We live at 40 Dehart and still do not have power! 32 Dehart, 34 Dehart, 36 Dehart 38 Dehart 40 Dehart, 46 Dehart, 48 Dehart 50 Dehart, 52 Dehart NONE OF US HAVE POWER EITHER!!!

  6. When out of state (MI) crews came to work on the big snow storm a couple of years ago, one lineman said he’d never seen such ancient electrical distribution equipment. It’s like a museum. In California, the utilities have a small surcharge to pay for moving lines underground- just for esthetics! We can’t have huge trees, overhead lines and no plan to trim back limbs. Underground isn’t perfect. Lines get cut, repairs take longer, transformers are on someone’s lawn, and it isn’t cheap. But something’s got to give.

  7. Charles- agreed with all of your points. Local officials need to Start picking tougher issues to focus on instead of the low hanging fruit.

    The one exception to your point on underground power, is that it has worked flawlessly in Hanover Twp. since the middle 70’s. So there is a model to work off of.

  8. Local mayors are getting a little lazy about holding JCP&L accountable. Just doing press releases now but not really making any demands.

    I remember after Sandy both Town/Township pressured JCP&L to at least release some street-level restoration info (which is good in that it forces JCP&L to actually do some planning).

  9. @William Needham – all the issues with underground power in the town proper (fires, blowing up the library, etc.) are probably just more of an indicator of how awful JCP&L/FirstEnergy are at putting money into infrastructure design/installation/maintenance/monitoring than any indictment of underground power in general. There’s clearly something amiss with Morristown’s underground power system, and there has been since I’ve lived around here. I’ve lived in plenty of other places with underground power (some with way more flooding issues) and there were zero problems.

    The common factor in these failures usually lies with JCP&L and their penny pinching/incompetence.

  10. Joe- The suggestion of running power lines underground is not a new one. This was proposed and implemented on the south st corridor in Morristown two decades ago. Notice there are no power lines on South st in the downtown business district.

    That system is not full proof and has had many issues in the past with flooded transformers – But the downtown district does not lose power do to downed power lines.

    Nothing is perfect, but a quick analysis of the Hanover twp’s system will show their residents rarely lose power during strong storms. I know this personally because we have a family home on Poplar dr.

    Regardless of wether the mayor is a nice guy or not, it does not negate the fact that he is elected to seek pragmatic solutions for all the issues in town. This current suggestion is very neighborly, but no near the sustainable solution we deserve or desperately need.

    Morristown residents do not need to settle for the status quo…..

  11. Tough times, and bad as it is, jcp&l personnel, work crews, and everyone involved have tried their best for over 40 years that I’ve been a homeowner. I don’t know what the solution is, but the Mayor, a good guy I didn’t vote for but like a lot, is trying his best with the infrastructure we have. I just got my power back yesterday after 4 days. Everyone count your blessings and stay safe. Joe Morrisco

  12. Mayor – it’s time you start pushing JCP&L to update and upgrade our electrical infrastructure. We in Morristown require and deserve a modern electric service underground – free of unreliable power lines cross crossing our neighborhoods.

    I say “modern”, but Hanover Twp’s power lines have been underground for almost two decades.

    It’s time to retire the same old script of “were in contact with the power company” and start holding them accountable for the shortfalls.

    If your willing to lead the charge, the residents will support you. But the current status quo is unacceptable.

  13. 3500 out now (actually more since Western was just knocked out) and 85% will be restored today. So that leaves 524 to wait until Tuesday. JCP&L you can’t restore 524 people for another 4 days?! Come on… do you jobs!

  14. At least part of Farragut has power (which is unusual; we’re normally the first to go out).