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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.

robert y November 05, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Bob Y It seems last years settlement with JCPL didn't do much to improve our outage response, only someone to talk to when the lights go out. They have to be held accountable somehow.
Maureen Devore-Rosa November 05, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I have received daily updates from PSE&G even though I only have my gas service with them. JCP&L however,nothing. Even their website stinks Can't get in without your acct# Who carries that around when your living out of a suitcase at families houses.
ambitiously blonde November 05, 2012 at 02:52 PM
this is unacceptable and I would support a class action against JCP&L. I am from Mississippi and my town was devastated like Sea Bright--but the second the storm passed there were hundreds of power company personnel working 24 hours and we had power in 3 days. They are NOT working 24 hours at JCP&L. We would have seen more progress had that been the case. I want them held accountable. I bet if I were a week late paying my bill they'd hold me accountable and turn off my lights
Dawn D'Angelo November 05, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Taking a Poll.... JCP&L is... A. Working very hard to restore power to everyone who has lost it B. Run by Incompetent Management and has absolutely no idea how to get the power back C. Run by a bunch of Liars who just don't care about anything but profits D. All of the above
Susan M. November 05, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I've lived here for 21 years and the service has been equally horrendous since we first moved in so I don't think the acquisition by First Energy added to the incompetence. JCP&L has, and seems always will be, run by inept management whose only concern is their bottom line. And, realistically, what do they have to fear? After last year's storm and all the hullabaloo, they are stil maintain the rights to huge portions of New Jersey. Until we have some leverage against this utility, nothing will change.
Carolann Catania November 05, 2012 at 06:03 PM
These utility companies work for us, what do we have to do as a community to replace them? When someone does not do their job that they are hired to do they are fired,! This is the way every business works. So what we need is a Warren uprising against this company. We can make a difference if we all work together and not just take the status quo. I say get a town hall meeting together and let somone be accountable.
Concerned Citizen November 05, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I live near town and was fortunate to have power for 2 days, after it was restored to the town center. However, I watched as a JCP&L employee climbed up a pole and intentionally shut the power off on our street at 5pm on Saturday night. Yes, the worker actually flipped a switch, shut the power off and went on his way. When I asked for an explanation as to why they would shut the power off, they claimed there was an issue that they had to resolve in another neighborhood… and go figure, no trucks working in the area they mentioned. So as JCP&L claims they are trying to restore power in our community, please understand they are also taking power away from others! A quote from the employee, “we need to shut down power for 50 people, so we can restore it to 5000”…um, yeah, we are all still waiting. My heart goes out to over 90 % of this community that still does not have power. While I am thankful that we had power for a few days, I can't stop thinking about the fact that we did not lose power a second time, JCP&L took it away and shut our power off. Hopefully, the other problem was fixed, but not likely!
Carolyn Baranowski November 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Forget the 'permit' we need to cut our own trees down, we need to cut all trees that could reach the power lines. If done we would not ha r lines down!!
patricia redling November 05, 2012 at 07:12 PM
How can Warrenville road leading to Rt 22 NOT be a priority? I have not seen a JCPL truck on Mt. Horeb Road since before Sandy! If they are working day and night, they are invisible!
patricia redling November 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM
How can Warrenville road leading to Rt. 22 NOT be a priority? We have not seen a JCPL truck on Mt. Horeb Road since before Sandy hit! If they are working day and night, then, they are invisible.
Jack D November 05, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Thank you for that information John - that makes JCP&L look even worse (if that's possible)... So what exactly has JCP&L done at all in Warren. Nothing that I can see. It wasn't even them who powered up the town center, and the whole town is still dark. The numbers JCP&L are giving of homes restored in Warren seem false.
Richard M Donat November 05, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I don't know if any one of you have ever worked 24 hrs in hazardess conditions but it takes time off your life and wears on your ability to give a shit . Hats off to Jcpl and no I don't have power but my family and friends are safe and with good health , I consider myself extremely lucky and you should too
woody44 November 06, 2012 at 12:12 AM
The jcpl guys are union. They can only work a short time before needing a long break. Every truck I have seen has been idling on the side of a road somewhere. Don't care that it's laborious work. There are hundreds of real men and women who could be trained to do the work of thoseincompetent dolts. Im tired of excuses, that is what's wrong with this country. You have the wimpy liberal folk defending incompetent lazy and uneducated more ons making 27 bucks an hour and more to sit around and smoke and eat McDonald's on the side of the road. I'm done with them. Someone needs to enact real change. Do u think for a moment that if there were competition that our power would still be out?? Nope.
Cynthia Crocco November 06, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I have called pse&g and they say we have power we don't. Where are they getting there results. Evergreen Court still is the dark. I am afraid looters are coming. We are a forgotten place here. cyndie
ray November 06, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Where is the accountability? JCPL has not made any progress in Warren Township 90% without power for days and no answers from JCPL nor any signs of crews actually working in the town to restore power. As someone already pointed out what is the point of these recovery plans or reports if there is no one to ask them to provide real estimates or to hold them to task. Where are these additional resources that folks are talking about from other states to assist with the restoration? Where are real estimates for when power will be back online? How about a real JCPL customer service person to speak with to provide a real timeline besides an automated system? Absolutely nothing has improved from the last time. One thing is guaranteed the frustration level with JCPL has been the same. How this company continues to supply power to the state is beyond me.
Xwd AS November 06, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I want to echo the complaints expressed here by my fellow residents. This service restoration has been pathetic. There's a wire partially blocking Mt Horeb road near Briarwood Dr, with a couple of pink ribbons and a cone in the street, still a week after we all lost power. Down the hill to Martinsville? Forget it. Wires down alongside Mt Horeb ... No sign of progress. And I totally agree with the rediculousness of no clearing of Warrenville Rd down to the 22. How about this? When we are essentially 100% out, please simply ask the utilities to isolate the whole town at the substations, then clear every road within 24 hrs with chain saws so critical services can get around. Next - mandate at least one garage for 24x7 critical operations with generator support, backed with fuel tankers. I would like to insist on a public right to know the power path from a resident's property to a named substation, then mandatory reporting on a substation, area and road basis within 48hrs of any crisis. We have a right to have our feelings recognized and respected here.
LB November 06, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Last Monday, during the storm, 1/2 of Old Dutch Rd lost power. Last evening, one week later, the rest of Old Dutch and Aspen Ct. went dark. My call to PSE&G was dropped after being on hold for nearly 30 minutes. This morning my call was responded to with a recording telling me that my account doesn't exist. The Warren residents need answers from PSE&G now. And how about the delays in opening main roads in town? While such roads may be attractive with those big old trees, maybe it's time to remove many of them so the wires remain intact during severe storms.
Susan M. November 06, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I just called the OEM in Warren about that downed wire with the pink ribbons near Codington Lane on Mt. Horeb and their answer was that the wire will be there until it is removed by JCP&L. When I asked if the wire being ignored for over a week was indicative of JCP&L's lack of presence in the town, the OEM representative said "YES". So glad they agree that there is a severe lack of presence but I would like to hear more about the threats that they have levied against them. I get the feeling the town is run by a bunch of wimps.
Xwd AS November 06, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Update on the pink ribbon wire on Mt Horeb: it was cleared out of the roadway this morning. Still no power on Greenwood Meadows though.
CCHG November 06, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Does anyone know if Aspen Court / Old Dutch Rd is restored yet? And when Greenwood Meadows will be restored?
CCHG November 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
It's terrible. We called PSE&G too and they said that it is b/c they are fixing an area and needed to temporarily cut the power for a few hours. Yet nothing back as of 11 this morning. Any updates if electricity is up this afternoon? Greatly appreciate any news you may have. Thanks!
LB November 06, 2012 at 10:17 PM
To CCHG -- part of Old Dutch has power. Don't know about Aspen. Could not get thru to PSE&G again.
CCHG November 06, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Thanks! Aspen is up!
AYS November 07, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Greenwood Meadows still has no power and they moved the restore day from Nov. 7 to Nov.11. We should get together to move our power company from JCP&L to PSE&G. I don't see what can we lose at this point.
Virginia Rea November 07, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Mount Horeb from Red School House west to Pingry that whole area Waitng and Still Waiting for Power. Who is ultimate accountable VIP at JCPL?? We need more repeated escalation to him, the Govenor and the Utility Commission. We are told now Monday maybe??? Are they kidding. Wow!! This is something and now all Our homes are getting Colder and frigid inside and could suffer more serious damage not to mention all the families, young children, grandparents and more affected by this. Just Unbelievable In excusable delays and delays.
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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