A small army of utility personnel – more than 6,200 line workers, hazard responders and assessors, forestry crews, job dispatchers, and electrical contractors – is part of Jersey Central Power & Light's (JCP&L) strong effort to restore the 22,000 customers who remained without power this past weekend following the two Nor'easters that slammed the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas.
Most customers who lost power as a result of the first storm were restored by late Saturday night, March 10, and the majority of the remaining 22,000 customers out of service were expected to be restored by late Sunday.
"Our JCP&L personnel and outside line crews have been working 16-hour days to safely restore power since the storms hit the region and will continue to do so until the job is finished," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "We greatly appreciate the patience our customers have shown during this undertaking, including the many people who have stopped by our line shops and staging areas to give homemade treats to our workers as a way of showing their appreciation of the hard work being done in very challenging conditions."
The restoration effort has been a massive undertaking from an operational and logistical standpoint. Some highlights include:
- Restoring more than 500,000 customers out of a total of 523,000 customers affected by the two storm events.
- More than 3,100 line workers and 6,200 workers overall continue working on the restoration effort.
Replacing more than 700 poles and 1,800 spans of wire.
- Setting up four staging sites in Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, and Sussex counties to handle the influx of outside workers.
- Opening more than 2,300 roads closed by downed trees and wires.
- Using helicopters and aerial drones to conduct inspections of JCP&L's transmission and distribution systems, especially in hard to access areas.
- Clearing thousands of trees that fell into electrical equipment.
After local power lines are repaired and put back in service, damage to individual customer service wires may become apparent. JCP&L reminded customers that if their neighbor's power is on and theirs is not, the problem may be isolated to their individual service, and service to the neighbor could be fed from a different circuit. Customers were encouraged to report such problems, even at this latter stage in the restoration process.