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Power Company's Outage Reporting Wrong, Mayor Says

Mayor Carolann Garafola said posted figures do not indicate the reality: Nearly the whole town is still without power.

According to JCP&L's outage map, "crews are working aorund the clock" to restore power to more than 3,000 customers in Warren without electrical service.

And according to the company's report to Gov. Chris Christie on its progress, 756 local customers had power restored Saturday and another 432 should have expected in on Sunday.

That leaves most residents asking where?

Old Stirling Road resident Michael Thwaite might be one of the 756 customers JCP&L say had power restored yesterday. He said he received a phone message telling him that service had been restored in his neighborhood—which came as a surprise since his house was still without power (he immediately notified the company his power was, in fact, not on).

This is one example of the challenges residents and the utility companies are having working through the outage—and one that is vexing Mayor Carolann Garafola and OEM Director Jane Asch.

"We had issues with those numbers and they're puling them back," Mayor Garafola said. "They know we are very concerned because we still have 90 percent of the town without power."  

Mayor Garafola and Asch are on daily conference calls with both JCP&L and PSE&G, giving feedback on the progress and getting updates on the companies' daily work plans.

Mayor Garafola said JCP&L reported today crews are working on restoring substations in Branchburg, Bridgewater and Long Hill which will be crucial to getting more service in Warren. She added substation in Green Brook also feeds Warren, and is scheduled to work Monday.

She added that the area supervisor they are speaking to must relay the information received "up the chain" to where the decisions are made on where to allocate work crews.

Township officials have also been pressuring local state and county officials, even bending the ear of U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, R-7, when he visited Saturday. And they've called on former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco to seek out any other contacts who may be helpful.

"We are pressing every button available," Mayor Garafola said.

In the meantime, she said residents will get the most accurrate and current information on roads and power through the township at either the township's website, or at the warming center at the municipal courtroom.

LB November 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Trust me, AYS, PSE&G is no better. I haven not been able to get a response from them. The automated system keeps telling me I do not have an account. I'd love to know who is cashing the checks I've been sending for 16 yrs in Warren!!
Iramatweet November 07, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I got message from PSEG three times so far that my power in Springdale Lane has been restored. When I call them back after hours of wait, they reopen the order with no ETA. Their work schedule is around 50 houses per day and we do not know which houses are in that. I think both PSEG and JCPL needs to do a better job. I understand they are all working hard but in this day and age of globalization and resiliency we should expect more. Put the wires back, next storm comes, tree falls and we are back to the same issue. This year even without the storm I called PSEG 5 times for power outage. I still see lot of road blocked with trees and trees leaning on the wires, why can't that been taken care. We always get thismgridmand that grid or substation is being worked on. Won't the power company make at least the substation resilient so it can with stand all types of weather and worry about overhead transmission. Why would you build a power substation with all trees around and in a flood prone zone. Like building permit is there any zoning around this. What did we learn from the previous storms.
Iramatweet November 07, 2012 at 09:45 PM
4:44 pm on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 I got message from PSEG three times so far that my power in Springdale Lane has been restored. When I call them back after hours of wait, they reopen the order with no ETA. Their work schedule is around 50 houses per day and we do not know which houses are in that. I think both PSEG and JCPL needs to do a better job. I understand they are all working hard but in this day and age of globalization and resiliency we should expect more. Put the wires back, next storm comes, tree falls and we are back to the same issue. This year even without the storm I called PSEG 5 times for power outage. I still see lot of road blocked with trees and trees leaning on the wires, why can't that been taken care. We always get thismgridmand that grid or substation is being worked on. Won't the power company make at least the substation resilient so it can with stand all types of weather and worry about overhead transmission. Why would you build a power substation with all trees around and in a flood prone zone. Like building permit is there any zoning around this. What did we learn from the previous storms.
LB November 08, 2012 at 01:04 PM
To Iramatweet--good point--what did we learn from previous storms?? Until all wiring is underground (if that's possible) than perhaps some trees must be removed. It's a shame to remove them, but if it's between trees and residents freezing in their homes, schools closed, etc. then do it!
AYS November 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I don't who can answer my question. All wires and cables are underground in the Greenwood Meadows community. The poles along the libertiy cornor road has nothing to do with us which I learned from this and last outages. Where is power coming from and why takes so long to bring it back?

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