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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 . 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."

Scott November 09, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Every Morris Township resident should only pay a prorated delivery portion of their bill. Better yet, do not pay the estimated energy usage charge. Demand that JCP&L come and read your meter for the actual usage.
Motown Resident November 10, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Morris Township has struggled with self-serving leadership and nepotism for years. I hope this serves as a wake up call to them.The current Mayor is a good guy, it's a shame there wasn't better communication in the Township. I feel for my friends that still don't have power.
Rob Burke November 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM
The current mayor is a good guy? Why is that exactly? Is it the 15 tax returns for the Ginty Carnival he never filed, so the Attorney General shut it down? Or ibecause he closed ranks with Sisler after Sisler made a 1 am phone call to a resident to improperly influence the Honeywell Ordinance matter? Yeah, he's a great guy.
Martatown November 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Hey Rob..what's that have to do with the power outages? You can't stop yourself with your crusade huh? Well here is something that is relevant. I just got a email, the Messenger, that discusses how you have to get an inspection on your electrical service if it was pulled from your house before JCP&L will hook up your power...they just sent that now?? What about the last 12 days? They just realized this or they collecting fees? Chester sent out a message awhile ago and mentioned that fees would be waived...they did it the right way. How many people are going to sit around and wait?? THAT is bad management.
morristwspsucks November 10, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Lmfao, got them same email and the first thought that crossed my mind was "kiss my ass!" If our town had any sympathy for its residents the email should have said "you need a permit and inspection AND the fee will be waived..." and no, the mayor is NOT a good guy. Who hides in their office like a coward when a taxpayer comes to speak to them? Its day 13 now, now power. How much longer? Nice to know jcp&l fixes the quick fixes to get their numbers down and leaves the big jobs for last. I hate this town!
Marielle November 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I know that is just 5 days without power for me (early street) but still I don't understand how it is possible to replace electric poles, pull all the wires up and still don't have power? So now jcp&l left and let us in the cold and dark place. I hope everything will go back to normal soon for everybody.
Kim Gruber November 10, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Ok... so not happy we are still without power but you know what really gets me MAD?? How come the huge tree is still blocking one lane right in front of Acorn Hall causing a potential hazardous situation? This is a high traffic area. It's only a tree mayor, so clean the damn tree up!! KG
PJ November 10, 2012 at 03:45 PM
How is it that most of the devastated shore towns have power but Morris Township does not. We all know the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Our politicians must not have been advocating for us.
CSS November 10, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I'm not particularly impressed with the elected clowns, but Mr. Quinn seems like a decent enough person who actually does something akin to herding cats. Like a year ago, it's again clear that there is a labor shortage. JCP&L knew this, we knew this as we saw spots like the James St. mess sit untouched for over a week. Yet just a few days ago JCP&L gets around to hiring 1,600 more out of state workers. Why did they wait? They were hedging their bets on whether communities like ours would freak out or not if they made us wait over two weeks. This is why it's important that our local officials are advocating for us. I just got back to NJ yesterday from staying in Brooklyn for over a week with a friend (and a very nice one at that to put up with two people and two dogs in an apartment), and there's still a half-broken pole hanging over James near the tennis club/loyola, and finally, three new poles in place near cottonwood where 5 poles were down. Seriously? Thats not about "repairing the backbone first", that's simply "we don't staff as well as PSE&G". Here's their 3rd quarter earnings report: http://investors.firstenergycorp.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=102230&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1756206&highlight= Earnings were not quite what they hoped, but they are up from a year ago.
morristwspsucks November 10, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I respectfully disagree with anyone who says our town officials stepped up for us. They did a lot of posturing and peacocking but stepped up, no. I bet every one of them had power or did not have to wait two weeks. Does anyone truly believe the james street mess will be done and powered up by tomorrow at midnight? That is what christie said, tomorrow and if that deadline comes and goes then what? What are they going to do for us then?
Prentiss Gray November 10, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I think the township would be better served if they knew about JCP&L outages and progress in detail. I think they should demand access to the outage database and be able to display that online. Right now if we report an outage not only doesn't the town know anything about it, there's no way for us to know if our call was even recorded. It should be a condition of supplying the township with power that this information be made available.
Motown Resident November 10, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I was lucky and moved out of the Township, but a few of my friends still live there and have no power. 15 years ago the town was riddled with an inept town council that passed around the "Mayor hat" on whose turn it was vs. merit or qualifications. Unfortunately, nepotism was rampant with brother-in-law's and son-in-law's being hired for connections and not merit or qualifications. The proof of there leadership is what your living with today. Where are the plans and implementation of contingencies for an event like this? Others towns have reacted well to these extreme conditions but one of the wealthiest towns in the state are now the laughing stock of the county. Shame on the past peacocks more concerned about "namesakes", (great, you have a pool, ball field and gazebo) than on true leadership and governance. Rob, CJ, CCS, I feel bad for you still being out of power. You have to ask yourself what Morris Township did to deserve this lack of respect from JCP&L and why your leadership can't do anything for you ....................
GPC November 10, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I find it telling as a JCP&L customer (who just received power this past Thursday), I received a daily update from PSE&G on the precise and exact status of the number of homes restored, the precise strategy for addressing repairs and the sequence for the same, as well as detailed information of their overall process. PSE&G conducted a textbook strategy for timely communication and service delivery. Waiting in the dark and cold and reading my limited charge smartphone, I kept asking myself why didn't I have PSE&G as my energy and not just gas provider. JCP&L dropped the ball, our Morris Township leadership dropped the ball and but for our local fire department folks at the Mount Kemble Fire House we would have frozen with no heat and light. I am especially grateful to the folks at the Mount Kemble Fire House who themselves served with no heat, light or power in their own homes.
ryancnj November 10, 2012 at 09:15 PM
James St still blocked. Spring brook without power as well.
MorrisTwpRocks November 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Great points. They have Ginty Pool and Ginty Fields. And don't those Ginty's have a boarding house along Woodland Avenue? Oh, and who was that old police chief family members with? Politicians get anything they want in Morris Twp. My guess is that the Ginty's on Woodland Road had their power restored immediately, along with their tenants. Probably Ginty Field as well. Sad state of our town.
morristwspsucks November 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Come on ryan, did you really think we'd have power tonight? I've seen lots of men working on james street all day and at the same time as many standing around smoking. I just called jcp&l to let them know I still have no power and that I see lots of standing around and smoking. The lady actually had the nerve to tell me they work 24 hours round the clock and what I saw was probably them taking "several" of their breaks. She said the ones smoking were on break and probably talking to the ones that were not on break. Either this woman is as dilusional as the executives and gov christie or she thinks I have the brain of a raisin! Give me a break. I also heard on the radio (since I have no tv) that people are picketing in front of the utility company on long island. Why does no one from NJ care enough to picket jcp&l or our esteemed mayor? Seems we are just too forgiving....until the next time this happens. God forbid we get a big snowfall, we are toast for sure.
Motown Resident November 10, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Is the boarding house the one on recycling day that always leaves out cardboard boxes from a store for residential pick-up? I see the trash produced from that house, it all makes sense now. The good old boy network at it's best, I see the town is still turning it's back on a few violations, too bad it's at the taxpayers expense. My friends still don't have power!!!!!!!! My washer machine is taking a beating from you township people...............
jesse November 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Dorothy Drive is back finally! I think the big problem with JCP&L is they don't really exist anymore except as a small part of "First Energy". They're based in Ohio, and last year when we had the two blackouts we had to wait until the crews got here to fix everything. This time they were completely overwhelmed by all the damage and the distance between the management, supervisory and actual line workers was just too great to work efficiently and quickly. Everyone's heard stories of out-of-town workers waiting for hours just to receive orders on what to do. Put the J back in JCP&L or get someone more local.
Rob Burke November 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Bad management by corrupt managers. Wait for the complaint to be filed Thursday. I will post the PDF file for everyone to read. Godd night Sisler...
Martatown November 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM
There is no incentive for the workers to go any faster...more time equals more money. I'm sure these guys miss their families, but what Dad wouldn't want a little break to hang with their buds in a different state for a couple of weeks!!! Add piss poor management on top and you have a perfect recipe for a never ending disaster.
Karen Spitzner November 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I agree with Prentiss. Morris Township needs to put pressure on JCP&L to develop a communication system which (1). lets residents see that JCP&L knows where the outages are; and (2). shows residents the timetable for getting power back to individual streets. My power finally returned this afternoon. How about if JCP&L is required to hook up generators for everyone who's power isn't expected to be restored until the second half of the restoration period!
Martatown November 11, 2012 at 12:15 AM
And it's a monopoly... Not that the additional cable providers made it much better...now there are just more suckass providers!!
Carol McGrath November 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM
If you are a republican and represented Morris Twp, you can do anything you want. That Ginty family is the worst offender
CSS November 11, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Thanks to the guys from out of state that got James all set tonight. Anyone else in that area still without power? Lesson learned: With proper staffing, we would have a 3 day outage, and that's assuming they only work during business hours. If we want to be more realistic and assume that it takes a few days for them to start, then maybe a 7 day outage. Regardless, a lot of heavy damage was taken care of in 3 days of work.
Rob Burke November 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Every line worker, municipal employee, fireman, emt, cop, etc., worked hundred hour weeks and caked it on overtime. That's easy $100 an hour or more. Though they aren't all bad people, they have no incentive financially to hurry up and hurry hme with the problem solved. You thought medical school or law school was how to make a nice living? Try being Mayor or his friend he hires on the Town payroll. Don't even need a high school diploma...
Roisin Dubh November 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Jesse makes a great point about putting the J back in JCP&L!

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