I just got off the road after a very long intense day of trying to get our borough up and running with a very uncooperative and unresponsive JCP&L. I am a very understanding man, but my patience is wearing thin. I take people at their word and am fully prepared for whatever the reality is, but don’t mislead me. There are simply no excuses for JCP&L’s non-responsiveness and misinformation. Through years of storms and power outages, this one has by far been the worst. Communications are sparse at best, and information has been way off and incorrect. During today’s Mayors’ conference call with JCP&L we told we would receive estimate times of restoration (ERTs), however, specific sites were not included so this report they just sent me is basically useless. Outraged is too soft a word to express how I’m feeling about this situation, which pales in comparison to what those of us without power are experiencing. After we are all up and running, this situation with JCP&L will be very sternly addressed.
All this being said, the crews and workers on the ground have excellent and extremely helpful. We did make significant progress today. The Sagamore area has been restored as well as Crescent and Edgewood Ave areas. Trees have been removed on Princeton Drive. Hopefully more neighborhoods will be restored by tomorrow.
Our Police Chief and OEM Coordinator, Theresa Gazaway and I have been relentlessly pressing JCP&L and will continue our full court press until every single home and business is restored.
To answer some of the many questions I have been receiving:
- The electrical grid is not part of the borough’s infrastructure. We have no control over it. We can not change it nor do we have the ability to upgrade it.
- We have no ability to switch electric companies because it is JCP&L’s infrastructure in our borough. They own it and they are the carriers. Even if we bought electricity from another provider, JCP&L would still be the carrier.
- Nelson Tree Service has been contracted by JCP&L and has been working throughout the Summer trimming trees and branches around power lines.
- The biggest issue with this storm is that trees snapped taking out lines and poles. No amount of tree trimming or re-enforced infrastructure would have been able to prevent power loss with such extreme tree and storm damage.
- Restoration is taking so long because damage was extreme and widespread. It wasn’t only New Providence affected but also surrounding communities. JCP&L only has so many crews, even with bringing crews in from out of state.
The last couple of days have been trying and our nerves and patience frayed. Believe me, we share your frustration and aggravation. Please hang in there. We will get through this. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. We will continue to keep you updated. Stay strong.
– Mayor Al Morgan