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UPDATE: More Repair Time Needed at Washington and Mills, JCP&L Says

A garbage truck caught low-hanging wires Tuesday morning, causing three utility poles to break.

Power is expected to be restored in the area of Washington and Mills streets Wednesday evening following repairs and replacements of several utility poles, which were damaged after a garbage truck caught low-hanging power wires Tuesday morning.

A Nixle.com alert notice was sent out shortly before 6 p.m. from the Morristown Police Department that the repair work had been completed and crews would be leaving within 30-45 minutes. However, an additional alert was sent out about 30 minutes later stating, "The JCP&L crew at Washington Street at Mills Street advise that additional repairs are still needed in order to fully restore service and open the roadway to traffic. The crew is still on the scene and advise that there may be another 2-3 hours worth of required work. Updates will be provided as they become available."

Crews have been on the scene replacing the damaged utility poles all day.

Mayor Tim Dougherty said during a press conference Tuesday that the garbage truck that caught the low-lying wires had been an independently-owned truck and was not part of town staff.

The original story is below:

As significant traffic detours have been in effect since yesterday, motorists should expect continued congestion through rush hour.

JCP&L will remain on the scene for approximately 30-45 minutes to remove equipment and ensure there are no further issues.

Town officials are hopeful utility work at Washington and Mills streets will be done by the end of the day.

Business Administrator Michael Rogers, however, could not give any specific time frame as to when JCP&L and Verizon crews would be finished replacing a trio of utility poles knocked down Tuesday morning when a garbage truck caught a low-hanging power wire. While some ended up losing power as a result of the accident, the utility had to cut power intermittently Wednesday, as well, as the crew worked on getting the poles replaced.

"It's a huge undertaking," Rogers said. "They have dedicated a lot of resources to this since this morning."

A lot of resources for one project—Rogers said about eight utility vehicles were on the scene for the repair—may not be music to the ears of those still without power as a result of Superstorm Sandy last week, but the business administrator said, "they (JCP&L) recognize the severity of which this accident created."

By 2 p.m., crews had been there for six hours and had just finished installing the second pole. Several police officers, including Police Chief Peter Demnitz, had been on the scene since morning providing updates to the town as they became available, Rogers said. Detours remained in place at Early and Mills streets, at Kahdena Road and Washington Street and at Atno Avenue and Washington Street.

Rogers said the nor'easter already bringing wet snow to the area by noon, and its predicted wind gusts, would play a role in whether or not the repairs were delayed. "You can't have someone up in a bucket when the winds are over 30 miles per hour," he said. "Given the circumstances, it depends on how this storm goes through."

Rogers said the town, including Mayor Tim Dougherty, had "pressed upon JCP&L the importance of getting this ameliorated. We're happy with the response and we hope this will be a non-issue by the end of the day."

Clarification: Added comment from Mayor Tim Dougherty stating the garbage truck that caught the low-hanging wires Tuesday was an independent truck and not part of town staff.

Martatown November 08, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Morristown Lumber has generators-saw them there today. Seems like something everyone needs to own now. You can even back feed your furnace with a simple double male extension cord. I'm burning a lot of gas, but with a little effort and money you can have heat and some lights.
Debra Gottsleben November 08, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Curious if the restoration of this line brought back power to all the people in this area? By that I mean the ones who were out since the beginning of the storm. Sounds like those people who were out originally are still out and the people who lost power because of the accident (some of whom had never lost their power) were restored pretty quickly. Understand that this was a major intersection but there are many other areas that are important roadways that have been blocked for well over a week. Hopefully someone will respond to let us know. Hoping that many people had power restored with this and that the gas stations can now open as well.
tee November 08, 2012 at 12:33 PM
No we still have no power - the repaired the pole and never reconnected out street.
T Loia November 08, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Still no power on the west end of early st. as of Thursday 7:00 AM. Some of our town's lifelong citizens without heat for days now............How about some blankets and door to door Dougherty?.........or something to show you care?
goingon2weekwnopower November 08, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Don't hold your breath, they don't care, really what can we do, we are all hostages at their mercy. I am holding out now for karma cause lord know I would not want to be them when karma gets them!
Josh November 08, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I live on lower Hillcrest and not only am I still without power (11 days), but the power line strung over a tree trunk (from the storm) was not reattached to the restored poles. Yes that means they had a bucket and truck right next to a line hanging on a tree and did not attach to the pole they just replaced. I was selfishly hoping for them to kill 2 birds with one stone, but I guess that kind of coordination is to much for the planners at JCP&L.
Jimbo November 08, 2012 at 01:18 PM
You will be glad to know that I never lost power from Sandy prior to the garbage truck accident. Been without power since the accident on Tuesday, and now as of 8 am Thursday I still have no power. All the conspiracy theories must be a myth.
dan wendel November 08, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Power still not back on from the accident where are you getting your information from?
FLM November 08, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I live about 1/2 way up on Mills St and we were fortunate to survive without power loss from the storm. We were knocked out when the truck took down the poles, but as of 8am this morning, we are not restored. The lines are off the road and the roads re-opened, but they didn't finish the job yet? Anyone else with the same problem?
Jimbo November 08, 2012 at 01:37 PM
yes, same her. And thank god....lets get all the whiners up and running before us please.
Josh November 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
sounds like the only people whining are those who have been without power for all of less than 2 days. The rest of us are just trying to get answers after 11 days without power.
Jimbo November 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM
oh contrair...look up. One guys screen name is even whiner ! lol and this one "The only fair thing I can see at this point is to shut all of you down and turn us all on at the same time, oh but apparently that won't happen as everyone else is sooooo much more important." really ? lol FYI they dont give a crap about any of us.........so quit whining.
bilboki November 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
BB, we are 1/2 way up mills also, no power. My feeling from all the talk was at this point there is no accurate information, from the town, police or jcp&l. : 1 the garbage truck took out the power. 2 they replaced poles and opened washington and mills st 3 they did not finish the job with restoring the power caused by this fiasco. Well, at least we are with our fellow neighbors without power, without any accurate info and getting very cold.
FLM November 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Is anybody out there that lost power when they shut down the line to fix the poles that had there power restored last night? I'm just trying to figure out if their only goal was to get the street cleared for traffic?
citizen13 November 08, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Is there any comment from JCP&L as to when power will be restored to washington/hillcrest (those of us who haven't had power since last Monday?
Josh November 08, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I think the deal is, if there aren't live power lines on the ground or someones car. Than JCP&L can check there box as problem corrected.
Josh November 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
those who lost power after the accident, It appears morristowngreen.com disagrees with you. http://morristowngreen.com/2012/11/07/repairs-completed-at-washington-and-mills-in-morristown-traffic-congestion-may-persist-awhile/
Josh November 08, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Those who lost power from the accident and still don't have power, please contact Kevin Coughlin at morristowngreen@gmail.com
JP November 08, 2012 at 04:35 PM
- Morris Township- Agreed, with all the attention on Washington and Mills, did they happen to look up Hillcrest and see we are still dark? It's now past JCPL Nov 7th target. ...Haven’t heard anything from the Township leaders?? Are they just relying on Morristown to keep us informed?
heldhostageinmorristownship November 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Intelligence at it's finest. Spoken from another me, me, me, me, me of Morristown.
heldhostageinmorristownship November 08, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Wow Jimbo, you have as much sympathy as a dead rat! I don't see you offering here for people without power for 11 days to come to your house for a hot meal, hot shower or to do some laundry. Before you spew your venom here and accuse others of "whining" think about how you'd feel if you were in our situation. You sound like a nasty self-serving creep!
HU November 08, 2012 at 05:46 PM
After all the excitement, JCP&L or anybody who is responsible for restoring power will not get into this... just close their eyes and ears, so that they don't have to see it..... I felt the same as Josh... they were there to fix stuff, so fix this one as well since you were there up there.... but... Now, is there any volunteers to get electricuted, so that big time liability is going to wake up the officials from town and township to fix these things much faster pace... There are towns put power line underground... Why not that way? so that everytime Garden State gets hit by large storm of any kind, we don't have to go through this... I have seen so many old trees hanging out to the power lines, roofs and garages. Instead of fixing useless pavement, they need to work on something like that type of infrastructures.... It has been ridiculous since power guys wait for tree guys to show up.... tree guys were waiting for someone else.... so even there are people there, but actually nothing is done... We need to have better coordination and management of these resources.....
Jimbo November 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM
@heldhostageinmorristownship - i dont have power dummy.
Tryclyde November 08, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Josh, I have live wires and half a telephone pole down on my street that have yet to be touched.
Tryclyde November 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Jimbo, after 11 days without power, anyone has the right to complain when there is NO communication from JCP&L.
Jon T November 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Message from Morris Township PD on Nixle as of 2:30 Community: 35 trucks from Indiana Power working to make repairs in Morris Township. I won't hold my breath
Terry November 09, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Where'd ya learn that there fancypants French?
Annoyed November 09, 2012 at 02:01 AM
My husband calls JCP&L everyday and everyday they give him the run around and each person he speaks with tells him completely different info....sir you will have power Saturday...sir Sunday it will be back...sir it's because there are trees down on Picatinny road (we aren't even on their grid). I tell him its not worthint to call them. They can care less about us. So tell me when will power be restored on Dorothy drive, upperfield and grace way and surrounding?? Anyone know? Seems like everyone else is getting power and we are the forgotten ones as usual. Three years in a row we have been without power for a week or more. We have a lot of elderly here and babies who are freezing. It's not that easy to pack up a baby and go to a shelter or bring machines that some older people need to stay healthy. A 103 year old should not have to sit and wait for this long. Why should they have to go to a shelter and leave their homes where they are comfortable? I have an infant baby but am fortunate to have a generator but a majority do not have generators. This is new jersey not a third world country. It's unacceptable that we have not had power for 11days now. A lot of people are going to reconsider living here...I know I am. I really do like this town but living like this makes me want to consider areas with underground wires and far away from JCP&L!
bilboki November 09, 2012 at 01:34 PM
still without power on mills st. I think the main frustration is the fact that the problems from the past power outage restorations are not investigated and corrected to benefit the customers of JCP&L. There has been no activity since they replaced the poles and re-hung the wires. The job was NOT finished and the crew was at the location. The managing, planning and honest(or accurate) information to JCP&L customers does not and never had a plan for this type of event. I think we are all trying to find some information to be able to possibly plan for a long time of this. I feel somewhat 'shellshocked' as the days continue, morning is the hardest time to adjust for this. Morristown needs an effective advocate.
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