Widespread power outage affects NJ homes, schools, businesses

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(Gene Coughlin/Twitter) Menlo Park Mall in Edison was one of many locations to lose power, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Gene Coughlin/Twitter) Menlo Park Mall in Edison was one of many locations to lose power, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.
NEWARK -

Widespread power outages Friday left thousands of New Jersey households, schools, businesses and even Newark Liberty International Airport without power.

The outages began around 4 a.m. mainly in northern New Jersey, with Jersey Central Power and Light and Public Service Electric and Gas Company reporting a combined 28,000 customers without power. The issues seemed to spread to central New Jersey Friday afternoon.

A manhole fire outside Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport also caused an outage. Passengers were being processed through security checkpoints, but there were delays getting through, according to the official Newark Liberty Airport Twitter account.

The power outages, coupled with extremely foggy weather, led to flight delays for most of the afternoon and evening.

JCP&L officials said an issue at a substation was the cause for their outages. No additional details were provided.

A PSE&G official said transformer fires were reported overnight in Woodbridge, Mountainside and on Route 22 at the Plainfield-Watchung border. The PSE&G official said the cause of their outages was weather-related.

"Rain and condensation, mixing with residual salt on roadways and walkways, compromised equipment. We do not have an estimated time of restoration for those customers," Brooke Houston, of PSE&G, told News 12 New Jersey.

The outages impacted some schools across the state, delaying start times and prompting "shelter in place" orders. 

Cranford police in Union County said on social media that all of the township's schools were told to shelter in place due to phone and internet issues as a result of the power outage. Authorities said power was restored to all Cranford schools just before 11 a.m.

Police in Lodi said all of the borough's public schools delayed the start of classes Friday as a result of the outage affecting Bergen County.

Some Newark schools also experienced issues. Central High School declared an early dismissal due to the loss of power, Newark police said.

Businesses were also affected. Menlo Park Mall in Edison lost power. A News 12 New Jersey viewer said he was at the mall when the outage happened around 11:30 a.m. Friday. News 12's request for comment from a mall spokesperson has not yet been returned.

The utility companies said that crews were working diligently to restore the power to all of its customers. The companies did not say when all the power would be restored.

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