MORRISTOWN, N.J., Aug. 30, 2011---Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) personnel, assisted by hundreds of crews from FirstEnergy utilities, are working around the clock to address 13,000 locations of downed wires and damaged equipment in 255 local municipalities in its service area as a result of Hurricane Irene.
Crews have cleared 2,000 locations where trees damaged equipment and interrupted service. More than 400 forestry crews are working to clear trees and other vegetation. Currently, more than 200 poles and almost 40 miles of wire need to be replaced before restoration efforts can be completed.
Access to many areas remains limited due to debris from downed trees and limbs and heavy flooding. In some locations, roads have been flooded or washed away, making the restoration process slower than normal. In addition, two substations were flooded, which has delayed the assessment and restoration process.
Due to widespread damage in the aftermath of the hurricane, service restoration for most customers is expected to take until the weekend, and complete restoration is not expected until early next week. JCP&L encourages customers to continue to work through the offices of emergency management should they have needs that require special assistance.
Crews have addressed more than three hundred 911 calls received through emergency management agencies.
Since Saturday, the company has fielded more than 255,000 calls to its customer contact center reporting outages and emergencies.
More than 400,000 customers in the company's central New Jersey service area and more than 260,000 customers in its northern New Jersey service area were affected by Hurricane Irene. Currently, 280,000 have been restored in central New Jersey and 180,000 restored in northern New Jersey. JCP&L expects the majority of its remaining customers without power to be restored by the weekend.
JCP&L's restoration efforts are being performed in a staged process to restore service to transmission, substation and distribution facilities. Crews arrive at trouble locations, make the area safe, and move on to other locations. Additionally, hazard responders and circuit assessors review locations and report additional equipment required to complete repairs. This process enables JCP&L to prepare work plans that are needed for crews to best restore service to customers. JCP&L reminds customers that crews can only be affective in completing their assignments if customers don't interfere with their work.
"We certainly understand the frustration and inconvenience that a loss of power causes home and business owners," said JCP&L President Don Lynch. "We are doing all that we can to restore service as safely and efficiently as possible."
Overall, JCP&L has the following resources in place:
- 336 line, trouble and substation crews
- 440 hazard responders
- 408 forestry crews
- 130 support and management staff
In addition, JCP&L is offering water and ice to customers who remain out of service at 23 locations located across its service area. JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties.