JCP&L Restoring Customers Following High Wind and Severe ThunderstormsGusts Exceeding 70 MPH Toppled Trees, Damaged Electric System in Central NJ
MORRISTOWN, N.J., July 23, 2019 -- Service has been restored to more than 104,000 Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) customers who lost power last evening following damaging thunderstorms that produced wind gusts exceeding 70 mph and torrential rains.
As of 11:30 a.m., approximately 153,600 customers remain out of service, mostly in the hardest-hit areas of Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Burlington and Mercer counties. Significant tree damage and flooding are slowing access to many areas. JCP&L crews are addressing more than 1,000 safety hazards and nearly 140 road closures while evaluating damage and isolating equipment to enable repairs to be made. Due to the extent of damage, restoration activities are expected to take several days. JCP&L will disclose a more specific restoration timetable for areas affected by the storm as damage assessments are completed.
About 1,100 JCP&L linemen, damage assessors, hazard responders, forestry personnel, dispatchers and contractors are working to restore customer outages. JCP&L resources from the northern part of the state are being redirected to assist in central New Jersey. In addition, approximately 700 line workers and 275 hazard responders, damage assessors and public protectors from other FirstEnergy utilities and contractors are on-site or in transit to assist with restoration efforts in central New Jersey. Two staging sites for the additional resources are being set up.
"Our crews are working around the clock to restore customers who lost power due to last night's severe thunderstorms," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "The high winds resulted in significant tree-related damage to our system, including broken poles and downed wires that will need to be replaced. We will continue to deploy additional resources as necessary until all customers have had service restored."
As part of its storm restoration process, JCP&L has taken the following steps:
- Ramped up storm updates on social media and on the company website. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com
- Activated its Emergency Command Center
- Activated its Incident Command System
- Communicating with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators, and local officials about storm restoration efforts
- Staffed additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices
JCP&L reminds customers to immediately report downed wires to their utility at 888-LIGHTSS (888-544-4877), or to their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed wire even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris.
After local power lines are repaired and put back in service, damage to individual customer service wires may become apparent. Customers are reminded 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 are encouraged to report such problems at any time during the restoration process.
Customers are reminded to never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Proper generators should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of damage caused by the storm are available for download on Flickr.
CONTACT: Cliff Cole, (201) 602-0650