JCP&L: Crews working around the clock to restore power

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The JCP&L president says that utility crews are working around the clock to restore power to thousands of customers who lost power due to two powerful snowstorms in New Jersey.

Wednesday’s storm knocked out power to more than 300,000 utility customers statewide. Officials say that 17,000 customers were still without power from last Friday’s storm. Those customers live in the areas that were the most devastated by the strong winds from that storm.

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JCP&L President Jim Fakult says that there is not any estimate as to when power will be fully restored. He says that 460,000 customers lost power from the two storms, mainly due to fallen trees.

Fakult says that crews are working as hard as they can, but that safety has to take priority. Crews are not able to go up in the bucket trucks if winds are stronger than 35 mph. Poor road conditions were also a factor.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy orders review of utilities response to nor'easters

Gov. Phil Murphy has called for an investigation into how the company handled the storm, and said that JCP&L displayed an “apparent lack of readiness.”

But Fakult says that restoration delays are to be expected after two storms of this magnitude.

He says that the company’s priority is to restoring service. He says that JCP&L felt prepared for Friday’s storm, but didn’t expect such heavy snowfall.

Fakult adds that he shared in his customers’ frustrations, but points out that the company can only work with what they have.

“This affected over 2.5 million customers across the eastern United States,” he says. “We only had the linemen and the resources that we had and for the most part other utilities would not and could not release their resources until their state and their customers were cleared up.”

Fakult says that JCP&L has about 1,500 workers out in the field on any given day. He says that out-of-state resources have brought that number up to about 4,400 workers.

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