Jersey Central Power & Light said Saturday it surpassed Friday’s target and has restored electricity to 88 percent of customers who lost service after Tropical Storm Isaias.
But nearly 55,000 customers still lacked service as of 5 pm. About 19,000 of them were in Morris County, reported JCP&L’s website. In Morris Township, 1,450 customers were awaiting restoration; in Morristown, 963; and in Morris Plains, 163.
It could be a long, hot wait for unlucky residents.
“Based on current outages and damage assessments, some difficult restorations may extend into early next week, and we are projecting that these customers in both the Northern and Central Regions are expected to be restored by Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 11:30 p.m.,” JCP&L said in a statement.
“Much of the previous work performed was with transmission lines, sub-stations and removing trees with wires entangled blocking roadways,” Morris Township officials said Saturday in a message to residents. “Residential Restoration is the priority and JCP&L prioritizes restoration by the higher number of customers that can be brought on line per repair order.”
The utility said some 9,000 workers — from JCP&L, subsidiaries of parent company First Energy Corp. and mutual aid partners– had restored service to 696,000 of the 788,000 customers affected by Isaias since Tuesday. That exceeded JCP&L’s late-Friday target of restoring 85 percent of impacted customers.
Crews have replaced more than 140,000 feet of wire and hundreds of poles and crossarms, working through more than 400 closed roads, according to JCP&L .
Morris Township police said Western Avenue has reopened, after being closed earlier because of a live wire in the roadway. Township residents can continue charging their electronic devices at the Woodland, Fairchild and Hillside fire houses.
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty has invited residents to share unused generators with those still in the dark, by calling town hall at 973-292-6629.
JCP&L urges caution, however. Generators should be chosen and installed only by qualified electricians, the utility advised, and outside power always should be disconnected when operating a generator.
“Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers,” said JCP&L said in its statement.
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