JCP&L: We're Working Around the Clock

Utility company president met with press Wednesday afternoon.

For those yet to have power restored in the wake of Hurricane Irene, it's cold comfort to know that 550,000 customers served in New Jersey by JCP&L had their electricity back as of Wednesday morning.

But, at a hastily-organized press conference Wednesday afternoon at the electrical provider's North Jersey headquarters in Morris Township, JCP&L President Donald Lynch said that, and that they are working around the clock to get the remaining 120,000 New Jersey customers still without power back online within the next several days.

"This is the worst storm we have seen in recent memory," Lynch said, noting the company provides electricity to approximately 1.1 million customers in Northern and Central New Jersey, across 13 counties. "We understand the frustration. We are doing everything we possibly can."

Hurricane Irene hit the Morristown/Morris Township area Saturday night into Sunday, causing the Whippany River the JCP&L substation on Ridgedale Avenue. With the substation inoperable, the utility agency has been working since the weekend to reroute power from other sources to get 19,000 customers in this area back online.

Nonetheless, as of Wednesday, many in New Jersey continued to report power outages. Lynch said during the conference that a lot of customers were still facing power outages not because of the failed substation, but because of continued heavy flooding, fallen trees and downed wires in some areas. "We also want to make sure the safety of our employees and public is our number one priority," he said.

Lynch referred to the Ridgedale Avenue substation as one of JCP&L's largest. During his 35 years with the company, he said, "I have never seen flooding of this magnitude."

Despite the substation being located within proximity to the Whippany River, Lynch said, "that is a great location where we are" and that the company would examine it to prevent future flooding.

Lynch said a lot of issues currently lie with the amount of rain that has fallen on the region this summer, causing the ground to become saturated, making tree uprootings much more possible. "There was just no place for the water to go," he said.

"I know this is tremendously difficult," he said. "We're going to be here. We're not going anywhere until every single customer is restored."

Jim S September 01, 2011 at 02:03 AM
It is very frustrating that JCPL cannot provide any information as to when particular areas might be resdtored. Generalized statements that they are working hard leave me cold. I live in Far Hills. Our area did not flood, yet we have no power. If they don't plan on restoring our area until next week they should tell us.
Vivette Peacock September 01, 2011 at 02:18 AM
I live in a senior community We have 325 homes. As of Wednesday am all but 88 had been restored. Guess where my home lays. How can this be in a development where the homes were built at the same time. Can't wait to get my bill!!
Maryann September 01, 2011 at 03:28 AM
I live in Lake Mohawk and there are hanging transformers, downed poles and wires covering cars. 7 small children live in the 4 affected homes yet it's still not fixed at all! The trucks come and leave!! It's a dangerous situation yet we are forgotten by JCP&L!
ASquared Video Productions September 01, 2011 at 02:01 PM
I am in Springfield and one side of my street on fieldstone drive has power and my side does not. There was very little flooding here and two trees fell. I have not seen a jcpl truck since the hurricane almost a week ago plus I lost power AFTER the storm. They are doing a horrible job and oh by the way the customer service page on their website is down for "maintenance" conveniently. The writer of this article should be talking to the people who are affected by this nonsense and not kissing ass. Oh and learn how to form a sentence.
Laura Schreiber-Gornstein September 01, 2011 at 02:04 PM
no one is working around the clock. not a single worker in sight all week!!!
EMAD September 01, 2011 at 04:20 PM
I spoke with a JCP&L worker today who told me that there are hundreds of personnel and bucket trucks sitting behind the Livingston Mall doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Why? Because JCP&L can't seem to get them organized and dispatched. So though they're technically on the clock, eating snacks and chatting can hardly be considering 'working'.
mhjim September 01, 2011 at 05:07 PM
JCP&L has given the following outage reports for Berkeley Heights over the last few days: 800, 450, 640, 980. Are they making these numbers up?! Summit outages went down to 1025 overnight but jumped up to 1674 by 11am.
Monk September 01, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Given the extent of the devastation, personally, I would never expect all of the downed trees removed and downed wires repaired and service restored so quickly. It's too bad some people are so impatient. On the other hand, I never saw so many neighbors as I did Sunday. Although many were just gawkers, at least I got the impression I lived in an actual community. It's too bad it took a natural disaster to bring them out.
Steve September 01, 2011 at 07:50 PM
I agree; we see trucks drive by in the AM. However nobody is working on the lines near me. All the trees are out of the way, lines and poles are replaced. What gives?
Esmeralda Mata September 01, 2011 at 08:45 PM
I have not seen a single JCP & L trunk since we lost power on Short Hills Avenue at 4am last Sunday. They should give everyone a stipend for expenses; lost food, eating out, hotel, etc. And shame on our Mayor Keffer for not being out and about in Springfield to try to console residents. Perhaps he was, but I havent seen him. I was told today he does have another day job. Hmm. I would have felt that he cared if he came knocking on my door. It took for me to personally go to the township and speak with Anthony Cancro to get some answers. I think there has been a lack of communication. Garbage on Short Hills Avenue has not been picked up. This is unexceptable.
jahocswim September 02, 2011 at 12:52 AM
JCP&L doesn't have a clue. Everyone in my neighborhood got a different story-cables down, transformers in the mid-west, flooding in Summit. I was in Livingston and actually saw the workers doing nothing. PSE&G was all around checking for damage in our neighborhood, unfortunately they are not our provider.
LON September 02, 2011 at 12:54 AM
When I aked JCPL about the 450+ outages in Murray Hill, her response was "Who is Murray Hill?". Not amused. If you don't want our business we'll gladly go elsewhere. Shame on you!
Kari September 02, 2011 at 06:13 AM
If you're looking for a JCP&L truck in Springfield, go to Dunkin Donuts on Morris Turnpike. That's the only place I've seen them over the past few days. I told them to get back in their truck and get to work!!!
Pete September 02, 2011 at 10:34 AM
Take a video, put it on YouTube, post the link.
NR9 September 02, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Yeah, let's make sure they don't eat till you have power. And don't let them pee either. ... Seriously, this was a once-every-few-years event in terms of storm strength. They are working hard. They need to eat (and pee). Be glad you don't live in a 3rd world nation where there is no electricity- EVER, limited food where people fight for scraps, limited drinkable water, etc. and where people do hard labor for salaries of just pennies a day for an 18 (or more) hour work day for 7 days a week. Pack a bag of stuff and go to the home of a friend/family member who does have power and live there for a day or two (or more) till the power is back up. There are worse things in the world to have to deal with. Keep things in perspective.
jahocswim September 02, 2011 at 01:02 PM
I have no quarrel with the linemen. They are great. It is management. The linemen were told our neighborhood was under water. The linemen then told us that one wire was down and when it was fiexe we'd have power-- we did. These guys were from Ohio- I think stopping at Dunkin Donuts to eat is ok. They do have a dangerous and important jod. Their dispatch on the otherhan seems to have problems.
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