Twp. Official: Let Your Voice be Heard on Outages
As power restoration work is hopefully concluded this weekend, Timothy Quinn said those concerned should continue to reach out.
The end is nigh. But, those still reading this from Smartphones charged at warming stations likely are not holding their breath.
As officials report utility crews are at work in this area with a self-imposed weekend deadline for complete power restoration, the "Superstorm Sandy" story moves uncomfortably close to the end of its second week.
For those that have entered double-digit days without electricity, "it's beyond the frustration level," Morris Township Business Administrator Timothy Quinn said Friday morning. "They say things, they're angry."
Quinn said crews were out in the township, and "some streets already are coming up" with about 1,800 expected restored Friday and the remainder over the weekend.
By noon Friday, over a week after Sandy hit our area, almost all of Morris Plains had been restored, with about 8 percent still out in Morristown, according to the JCP&L outage map. Morris Township remained with the most outages, nearly 2,000, or about 23 percent of households.
Ron Morano, a regional JCP&L public relations representative, said, "we're sending crews out to neighborhoods now."
But, where have they been up until now? "There is a lot of circuitry work needed before we can get into the neighborhoods," he said, echoing statements made last week to Patch by another representative. "If you went around and replaced every wire, transformer and then replaced the system, it would take a lot longer. You have to rebuild the backbone of the system first (transmission lines, substations, and more)."
While locally, the Ridgedale Avenue substation that was trounced by Irene in 2011 went undamaged by Sandy, Morano said others in the state did not get off so lucky. "This was a catastrophic storm that hit New Jersey, worse than Irene and the snowstorm," he said.
"We serve 1.1 million customers. 1.2 million were affected," Morano said. "There are 1,200 circuits in our system [in New Jersey.] 1,100 were damaged. We had a lot of work to do. We have been bringing in lineman every single day."
On Friday, Morano said approximately 7,000 utility workers were in New Jersey performing repairs.
Not every remaining outage, at least in Morristown, can be laid at Sandy's feet. Some in the area of Washington and Mills streets remained offline Friday as the result of a garbage truck Tuesday catching low-hanging powerlines, causing several utility poles to break. Morano said work had been performed to make the area safe for travel, but additional work needed to be done. He could not provide additional information regarding when that work would be completed.
While Quinn was hopeful that estimates for restoration would bear out through this weekend, he did add, "it's going to be critical to evaluate what was done and the magnitude of damage. Post action critique and review are needed not only with JCP&L but with the Board of Public Utilities."
In the meantime, and even after, the township business administrator said people need to reach out with comments, concerns and critiques.
"There are better ways to handle this," Quinn said. "Pay your bills but certainly write letters to the BPU, write letters to JCP&L, to the governor's office, your congressman, the municipal government. Make your voice heard and do it in that manner. It's the power of numbers."