Residents have reported increasing sightings of JCP&L trucks in Springfield. But that hopeful sign of work on power restoration follows a long and frustrating process of dealing with the power company, judging by communication from Springfield Mayor Ziad Shehady.
In a strongly worded email shared with state officials and the media, Shehady blasts how the power company has shared information, accusing them of "blatantly lying about restoration figures and withholding information."
In the message, Shehady describes communicating with JCP&L as a circuitous and frustrating process.
"The conference calls are absolutely useless," Shehady writes. "Area managers and representatives refer us to the conference calls for updates but the calls do not give new information and refer us back to area managers and representatives. This is circular and shameless."
Shehady said the information that has made it through has been contradictory and misleading. He noted that a JCP&L “real time outage map” showed 7,461 customer affected and said that the number not possible, as JCP&L elsewhere claims to have 7,413 in Springfield.
"JCP&L is blatantly lying about restoration figures and withholding information," Shehady said. "Not only has the number increased, but the biggest alarm is that now you report more customers are affected than are served."
In the email, sent out late evening on Nov. 1, Shehady requested specific and detailed information on Springfield power by 10 a.m., Nov. 2. Noting that JCP&L has had days to assess damage, he asked for status on infrasture and a timetable for repairs, as well as accurate figures on Springfield electric customers.
"It would be helpful to know what areas have power restored so we can dismiss rumors and hearsay and to have a better idea of where crews are," Shehady said.
Shehady also said JCP&L dropped the ball in delivering ice to Springfield on Nov. 1. The ice was delivered late that night, but Shehady said he was nonetheless appalled by the lack of communication.
"Lastly, while I am no longer surprised in the failures of JCP&L, especially in fulfilling a promise to deliver ice in a timely manner, I am extremely disgusted by the lack of courtesy to notify us that it would not be delivered while primary focus was on preparing a press release about the effort," Shehady said.