As of 2 pm Saturday, more than 1.2 million New Jersey residents remain without power in the wake of superstorm Sandy. And according to new figures released by the Christie administration, restoration for many won't be completed until next week. [See attached PDF]
“While progress has been made in restoring power to many businesses, households and critical infrastructure in the aftermath of Sandy, there are still over 1.25 million customers without power," said the governor in a statement. "So many New Jerseyans have demonstrated significant patience and resilience through the storm and this initial recovery period, and it is our obligation to get them back online and with the certainty of a timeline they can reliably plan their lives around in the coming days.”
According to the latest figures available, 1,269,564 customers are still in the dark statewide, down from a high of 2.7 million through the storm and its immediate aftermath.
Getting electricity flowing for these people, according to utility companies PSEG and JCP&L will take some time.
PSEG, which serves Patch communities in Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Somerset counties, reports progress: An increasing number of customers in these counties have had service restored.County No. of Outages Bergen 142,068 Essex 121,065 Passaic 50,499 Somerset 30,963
Meanwhile, JCP&L, which covers Patch towns and adjacent communities in Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Sussex counties, reports a steady decline in the number of outages.County No. of Outages Morris 105,517 Passaic
(Patch coverage areas) 1,582 Somerset 26,041 Sussex
(Patch coverage areas) 8,253 Warren
(Patch coverage areas) 2,115
However, JCP&L and PSE&G restoration timetables now on the State of New Jersey website and on this page show while some progress is expected to be made Saturday and Sunday, for many customers still in the dark, it will take until next week to get electricity flowing again. The charts depicted in the PDF files provided will allow residents to see the estimates for their individual communities.
Greg Reinert, a spokesmperson for the state Board of Public Utilities, explained how to interpret the data on the timetables. Barring an extraordinary development, the charts will be updated once a day, Reinert said.
The PSEG chart contains a column listing “ETR,” which stands for “estimated time of restoration.” The chart also uses military time—23:59— which translates to 11:59 pm.
“Assigned” means that “they’re finished doing their appraisals to find out what’s going on in the town and have assigned crews to the jobs,” Reinert said.
If there is an “x” next to the line for your community, that means the utility expects to get 100 percent of customers restored in that community by 11:59 pm of that date. Reinert stressed, however, that this is a projection and may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.
If there is no “x” on the line next to your community, this means that there is not yet a projected date for 100 percent restoration in that community, although crews may be working in that town restoring electricity to at least some customers.
The JCP&L chart is more straightforward, showing the number of customers that have been, and are expected to be, back with power on a given date. Reinert also said, however, that the customers in the chart include only those whose power outage was caused by a circumstance that can be addressed by JCP&L.
“There may be some customers who have no power due to flooded basements or because the building is unsafe,” Reinert said.