JCP&L Continuing Massive Restoration Effort as New, Powerful Storm Impacts New JerseyCustomers Without Power the Longest Remain Top Priority
MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 7, 2018 -- More than 4,100 utility workers continue their efforts around the clock to restore customers of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) as a new snowstorm creates hazardous conditions and the potential for additional outages in northern New Jersey.
Last night, the Governor of New Jersey declared a State of Emergency for the entire state. Heavy wet snow, falling at rates as much as two inches an hour, may cause more tree damage, block roads that were previously cleared, damage additional poles and wires, and make driving difficult for utility crews. JCP&L remains focused on restoring customers who have been out the longest, and will address any new outages based on its priority system that deals with the largest outages first.
JCP&L has restored power to more than 242,000 of the nearly 272,000 customers in New Jersey affected by the recent storm that inflicted widespread damage on its facilities. More than 4,100 employees and contractors – including about 1,500 line workers – are now involved in the massive effort and will continue working until full restoration is achieved. An additional 200 line workers are arriving in New Jersey today from Virginia.
Approximately 29,000 customers remain out of service, primarily in Hunterdon, Morris, Warren and Sussex counties. Until the full impact of today's storm is known, it is difficult to predict an overall restoration time, but local estimates will continue to be posted at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
"We're entering the most time-consuming phase of this effort – restoring individual homes to service – and inclement weather and bad roads could create more challenges," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "But we have a massive contingent of crews on the ground who are up to the challenge of working safely in snowy conditions so we can get our impacted customers back up and running again."
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
- Aired radio ads telling customers how to prepare for storms
- Initiated update calls with officials
- Activated its Emergency Command Center
- Activated its Incident Command System
- Communicated with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators, and local officials about storm restoration efforts
- Staffed additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices
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, even at this latter stage in the restoration process.
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.
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 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
CONTACT: Ron Morano, 888-233-3583