Thousands remain without power following 2 major snowstorms

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SPRINGFIELD -

Tens of thousands of New Jersey residents remained in the dark Friday after two major snowstorms caused power outages.

JCP&L customers were some of the hardest hit. Customers who have been without power since last Friday’s storm are expected to see power restoration by Saturday. Central New Jersey customers who lost power Wednesday should be restored by late Sunday.

The company says that the majority of customers who lost power Wednesday may not be restored until next week.

MORE: News 12 Weather Center | Active Weather Alerts Power outage information
RELATED: Murphy orders review of utilities response to nor'easters

Union County was one of the hardest counties hit by the storm. Springfield Township saw more than 4,600 customers without power Friday afternoon. The town was put under a local state of emergency. 

Restoration is not expected until March 14. In the meantime, Springfield officials set up an emergency shelter in town to allow those who were without power to warm up and to charge their devices. The shelter is being powered by a generator.

“I don’t know where we would be without it,” says Deputy Mayor Erica Dubois.

Resident Jordan Amster says that his biggest frustration with the situation has been the lack of communication from the power company during the ordeal.

“No one knows anything,” he says.

Town officials say that a substation in town suffered damage during the storm, which caused all the outages. They says that the station suffered more damage than it did during Superstorm Sandy.

"It's de-energized. There's four circuit lockouts we are told as a result of this,” says town administrator Ziad Shehady. “We don't see crews here trying to bring it back."

The widespread outage is also hurting local businesses, according to some owners.

Yogi Patel, with Welsh Farms Cornerstore, says that there has been no business and that he can’t sell anything. He says that he has had to throw out all the ice cream because his generator is not powerful enough to power the entire store.

Patel says that he plans to donate the other perishable food to the shelter. Town officials say that is much appreciated.

"It's great to see Springfield come together as they always do during a crisis,” says Dubois. “But these crises need to stop being so frequent.”

Shehady says that the utility companies need to be held accountable.

Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered a review of the utility companies and their response during the last two snowstorms.

A spokesperson for JCP&L says that there are more than 5,000 crew members working around the clock to restore power.

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