TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – On Monday, New Jersey was still battling the aftermath of the weekend snowstorm that left behind a path of downed trees and power lines.
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Gov. Chris Christie described the damage to utilities as worse than the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene. At the peak on Saturday evening, there were nearly 700,000 homes and businesses without power. As of 10 p.m. Monday night, PSE&G was reporting 150,000 customers were without power and JCP&L said 220,500 customers were without power.
On Monday, Christie urged people to have patience while over 1,000 utility crews remove downed trees and repair damaged power lines.
“The biggest challenge here, and the thing that makes it more difficult than Irene is the tree situation,” Christie said. “This is really a power outage driven by the snow and the fact that the leaves are still in the trees. We have trees down all across the northern part of the state that have taken wires down.”
Christie estimated that power wouldn’t be fully restored until Thursday night. Crews from as far away as Georgia will help restore power.
“I know if you’re without power today, Thursday seems like a long way from now,” Christie said.
1010 WINS’ John Montone tours the devastation in New Jersey
Morris and Bergen counties were among the hardest hit areas.
“From what I hear it’s probably going to be three days before we have any juice,” one Mahwah resident, who decided to stay with his in-laws in Fair Lawn, said.
Christie and his family lost power at their Mendham home on Saturday and it was restored by 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Some residents prepared for the worst ahead of the rare fall snowstorm.
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“It’s pretty bad but I’m lucky this year I got a generator so I have heat, TV and my refrigerator is going,” one Ridgewood resident told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.
With 19 inches of snow, West Milford got the most snow in the Tri-State area.
Tracy Ross, of West Milford, tells WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman that her family is determined to be resourceful as they struggle without heat and power.
“Sometimes we melt the snow to flush the toilet,” Ross said. “My grandmother lived in the mountains and that’s how we did it.”
WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman checks in with West Milford residents at a shelter
More than 30 schools were closed in central and northern New Jersey. About a handful had delayed opening. Mass transit also posed a problem in parts of the state that were hardest hit by the snow.
Service was suspended on NJ TRANSIT’s Morris & Essex Lines, including the Gladstone branch and the Montclair-Boonton Line. However, the transit agency did say that service on those lines will run as scheduled on Tuesday morning.
Crews were removing downed trees and repairing damaged overhead power lines along approximately 50 miles of track, NJ TRANSIT spokesman John Durso Jr. said.
WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reports the Summit station looks frozen in time
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