Morristown, N.J., October 29, 2011 — Jersey Central Power & Light crews are working to restore service to more than 250,000 customers in northern New Jersey affected by the wet, heavy snow and gusting winds that continue to batter the region.
The affected counties include Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. FirstEnergy crews from Ohio also are assisting with the restoration process.
The weight of the snow — combined with the leaves still on many of the tree branches — has resulted in hundreds of tree limbs and branches falling into JCP&L electrical equipment and wires, causing service interruptions. In addition, treacherous driving conditions have made it very difficult for crews to move from one location to another.
"We were prepared for this storm," said JCP&L President Donald M. Lynch. "We brought crews from our sister utilities in Ohio to make sure they were in our area well ahead of the snowstorm. They have been working with the JCP&L crews since this snowstorm began. In addition, our crews from central New Jersey are being deployed to the north as the damage in that area is repaired. The wet, heavy snow has resulted in thousands of locations where we need to assess the damage and make repairs, and the outage numbers could continue to rise throughout the night as snow continues to accumulate."
Lynch says it will be well into the coming week before the majority of customers are restored.
"We are applying many of the lessons learned from Hurricane Irene and also are focused on keeping our customers and state and local officials better informed regarding our service restoration progress," said Lynch. "During daily conference calls, we update local officials on our progress and will continue to share information with them and with our customers throughout the storm."
FirstEnergy is mobilizing additional internal crews and support personnel to assist with possible power outages in New Jersey, and is working to secure outside utility crews, electrical contractors and tree contractors to assist with the restoration process. The snowstorm is causing outages in other FirstEnergy utility service areas. Overall, approximately 2,000 FirstEnergy utility employees and support personnel are assisting during this storm.
In a large-scale weather event, FirstEnergy urges all customers to follow the advice and recommendations of emergency management officials. The company also offers the following tips if customers experience an outage:
JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties.