By Lauren Wanko
Utility trucks line roadways in East Brunswick, repairing downed and damaged wires. Statewide, tens of thousands of residents were without power today.
About 65,000 New Jerseyans lost power — more than 41,000 PSE&G customers, more than 21,000 JCP&L customers and nearly 2,500 Atlantic City Electric customers.
“Today power outages that we’re seeing are caused by primarily tree limbs that have ice accumulated on them that are coming down on our facilities and cars running into utility poles,” said Jersey Central Power & Light Spokesperson Ron Morano.
JCP&L says every customer affected by this outage will have power restored by 6 a.m. Thursday morning. The power outages aren’t just a nuisance to residents. They can be dangerous. Firefighters in Raritan Borough protect residents from a live wire and wait for utility crews to make repairs.
“It’s still connected to the poll. It just ripped out of the side of the home and it still looks connected,” said Raritan Borough Fire Chief Bill Mener.
In East Brunswick, the outages are especially challenging for the public works crew.
“That complicates it that much more so after you’ve had storm after storm, now suddenly you’ve got power lines going down, you’ve got electricity out. Sometimes we have to pull crews out of areas while PSE&G comes and fixes the lines. It just really slows us down,” said East Brunswick Township Administrator James White.
The storm has taken a toll on the township’s fleet as well. Twenty percent of East Brunswick’s vehicles are in need of repair at the garage.
“That slows us down. They come in, they have a break down, it takes them a few hours to make a repair before they can go back out,” White said.
“It’s a headache,” said East Brunswick resident Ann Joe. “Not used to one snowstorm after another within the same week.”
Middlesex County residents shovel a slushy, wintry mix.
“I’m tired of shoveling,” said Joe.
East Brunswick homeowner Susan Joe typically works from home. Not today. Tree limbs weighed down by heavy ice snapped, knocking out her phone, cable and internet connection.
“Enough. This is it! No more,” Joe said.
Unfortunately for these storm-weary residents, it looks like another storm’s on the way this weekend.