Jul 29, 2014

Some Still Without Power in Morristown, as Another Storm Looms

Mayor Tim Dougherty suggests JCP&L resources may be spread too thin across state, as so many remain in the dark.

Some Still Without Power in Morristown, as Another Storm Looms Some Still Without Power in Morristown, as Another Storm Looms

It's Day 8.

While Morristown remains in the "Recovery Phase" after Hurricane Sandy came through last week, another storm looms, which now is expected to not only bring strong winds, but also rain and then several inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday.

Meanwhile, about 18 percent of Morristown remained out of power as of Tuesday morning. And that's not counting those who lost power when a garbage truck caught low-hanging power lines at Washington and Mills streets during rush hour. Which was only one of two incidents involving vehicles running into utility poles Tuesday morning.

Yes, it has been a trying time for Morristown.

But, Mayor Tim Dougherty said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference, "this storm has devastated the entire state. I would think JCP&L is stretched very thin. We're trying to be patient."

Patient, but not pushovers. While the mayor again said he does not want to play "Monday Morning Quarterback" regarding JCP&L's response to the storm, he did say a meeting with everyone involved to discuss how things could be improved was likely when, finally, everything calms down.

Unfortunately, calm is not in the forecast.

With a Nor'Easter predicted to arrived sometime Wednesday packing sustained winds near 30 miles-per-hour, and potentially gusts up to 45—as well as rain and snow—Dougherty asked residents to give as much patience as they may have left. "This is very wearing and frustrating for us all. We are doing everything we can," he said.

That has included what he called "constant pressure" on JCP&L, including phone calls to the utility from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Sen. Richard Codey.

Dougherty asked if the utility, with all the work needed to be done across the state, is not spreading themselves a little too thin. But, "they have told us it would take seven-to-10 days. This is Day 8," he said. "We're just not seeing enough activity to get this closed out."

In the meantime, the mayor reminded those still without power that Mennen Arena in Morris Township remains open as a pet-friendly shelter and that people in need of going there could reach out to the town for transportation. The town's Office of Emergency Management also remains open on a 24-hour basis for the duration of this recovery phase, Morristown Police Capt. Steven Sarinelli said.

In addition, several churches in the area are now pooling resources to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, which has served at least dinner since last week. Donations are welcome and needed, Dougherty said. Finally, Calvary Baptist Church is now accepting donations of warm winter coats, he said.

With storms, power outages, and accidents causing more power outages, the mayor said, "We're constantly battling different fronts. We're working on getting everybody's power back."

And, hopefully, nothing will prevent that power from going out again, at least for the time being. "I don't know what this next storm is going to give us," Dougherty said.

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