MORRISTOWN, N.J., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has restored power to more than 800,000 of the 1.2 million JCP&L customers affected by Hurricane Sandy.
About 330,000 of the utility's customers remain without power, most of whom live in Morris, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
The vast majority of customers will be restored by Wednesday, November 7. Customers in harder-hit areas, including those in damaged rural areas or near the shore, can expect to be restored throughout the following week. In some areas where roads, infrastructure, homes and businesses were destroyed, restoration is currently impossible. This includes many communities on the barrier islands of Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Restoring power to customers is being handled by more than 8,200 professionals, including 3,800 linemen and 1,500 forestry workers. An additional 260 linemen are arriving today to assist JCP&L's restoration effort. JCP&L has received crews from as far away as Canada, California, Washington state and Florida.
"We continue to accept crews from all over the country and we are putting them to work as fast as they can get here. This is one of the worst storms in New Jersey's history and crews are working around the clock to clear roads, replace downed poles and wires, and restore service," said Don Lynch, President of JCP&L. "Nearly every JCP&L customer has been affected by this storm and we understand their concern and frustration. We continue to work with state and federal agencies to make sure we have all the resources necessary to restore power to our customers."
Since the storm began, JCP&L crews have restored high-voltage transmission connections to substations and are working to complete 34.5 kilovolt connections, which bring high voltage to the local neighborhood system. More JCP&L crews are transitioning to repair local lines.
JCP&L is completing restoration to police and fire departments, water and sewage treatment plants, hospitals, schools, and gas stations. Many of these priority customers require extensive repairs to connect. For customers still without power, JCP&L set up charging stations for cell phones and tablet computers at locations where free ice and water also are being distributed. For more information, go to www.firstenergycorp.com/storminfo.
Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction in the JCP&L service area. More than 950 utility poles are being replaced. More than 30,000 trees have been cut and removed already from JCP&L equipment since the hurricane struck New Jersey last week. Crews are replacing approximately 3,900 spans of wire and 400 transformers.
Go to www.firstenergycorp.com/storminfo for a county-by-county list outlining the number of JCP&L customers who remain without power, how many have been restored, and how many were affected by power outages from Hurricane Sandy.
As debris from the storm is being cleared, customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines. Customers should always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and are reminded to 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) – it's the fastest way to begin the restoration process. Customers are reminded that even if they do not see crews working in their neighborhood, work could be under way at a nearby substation or other location that serves the neighborhood.
Customers also are reminded to stay clear of crews as they assess damage and repair equipment. By allowing crews to work, the restoration of power will be faster and people will remain safe.
Customers with mobile devices can obtain updated information on current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe. Customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages, or follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L and Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL for the latest information.
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 your home. Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility company lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
For updated information on hurricane restoration news, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe after a storm, go to www.firstenergycorp.com.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties.
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.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.