Approximately 1,600 additional linemen will arrive in New Jersey today to join nearly 14,000 Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) employees, FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) professionals, outside contractors and utility workers who are concentrated on restoring power following last week's Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter that blew through the area late yesterday. Currently, about 269,000 JCP&L customers are without power as a result of the two storms combined.
Approximately 93 percent of the 1.2 million JCP&L customers affected by Hurricane Sandy have been restored, with the company's best forecasts calling for the 149,000 remaining customers to be restored by the end of the weekend.
The nor'easter left up to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow across central New Jersey, resulting in more than 120,000 additional power outages. Crews are working day and night to restore customers affected by this storm. The company's best forecast calls for these customers to be restored throughout next week.
"Hurricane Sandy was the most devastating storm in our company's history, with customers in New Jersey and West Virginia continuing to feel the full force of its impact," said Charles E. Jones, senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. "The nor'easter further complicates the situation. Our customers' hardships are real and we will continue our massive restoration effort until all have their power restored. In addition, we greatly appreciate the assistance we have received from elected officials, police, fire and emergency management personnel for their dedicated efforts in keeping public safety a priority and helping us meet the unprecedented challenges of this disastrous storm."
In West Virginia, restoration activities center on repair of damage caused by high winds and deep snow in the higher elevations. More than 350 off-road distribution poles have already been replaced, and work continues on replacing an additional 300 off-road poles. The majority of the remaining 15,000 Mon Power customers are expected to be restored by midnight Friday. Restoration for customers in the most heavily damaged areas, including parts of Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Nicholas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties, may continue into the weekend.
Customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines. Always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and keep children and pets away from them. Downed wires should be reported immediately to your electric company or local police or fire department. Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity. They should wait for emergency services or utility crews to arrive.
To report an outage, customers should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877). If power has been restored to your neighbors, but your power remains out, be sure to report the outage. The issue could be isolated to an individual home and require further repairs.
To ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, always disconnect the power coming into the home. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility company lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
For updated information on the company's current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. JCP&L customers can find the latest information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL. FirstEnergy operating companies also are providing updates via Twitter @JCP_L and @MonPowerWV.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company 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 Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables.
Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
CONTACT: Ron Morano – JCP&L, +1(973) 401-8097; or Patti Michel – Mon Power, +1(888) 233-3583