What to Know
- NJ utilities are warning full power restoration could take well into the weekend; the storms knocked out electricity to 365,000 at peak
- As of Wednesday evening, there were more than 57,000 still without power; crews from as far away as Canada are being flown in to help
- Most of the outages are from JCPL customers in Monmouth and Ocean counties, PSEG says most its outages are in Burlington and Camden counties
More than 57,000 customers in New Jersey are still without electricity two days after a line of thunderstorms downed trees and power lines — and authorities warned restoration efforts could last into the weekend.
Most are Jersey Central Power and Light customers in Monmouth and Ocean counties. PSEG is reporting most of its outages are in Burlington and Camden counties.
Both utilities believe they can have all their customers back on line by late Friday, although the state Board of Public Utilities says restoration could take until late into the weekend.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy met with JCPL officials in Oceanport Wednesday morning to address the massive outage caused by wild weather that tore through the entire tri-state Monday into Tuesday.
The storms throttled the region for more than 12 hours as hundreds of thousands of people grappled with flooding conditions, nightmare commutes and lack of electricity — but the power outages were most prominent in the Garden State. At the peak of the storms, the total number of statewide outages soared above 360,000, with most of the affect customers in Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington counties.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities said critical customers like hospitals and water systems would receive restoration priority. Crews from neighboring states and from as far away as Canada are assisting in the recovery, spokesman Peter Peretzman said.
"The best estimate at this point is restoration will continue through the week -- and late into the weekend in the hardest hit areas," Peretzman said. "The utilities are responding to emergency and make safe situations, and conducting system wide damage assessments which are critical to dispatching crews in the most effective manner to bring back the largest groups of customers as quickly as possible."
The storms have been blamed for at least one death — a 17-year-old Neptune, New Jersey, boy who lost his life in a house fire. The power had been out at the home at the time, authorities said; a cause of the blaze is under investigation.