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.