PSE&G Declares Power Restored To ‘More Than 95 Percent Of Affected Customers’

TEANECK, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) — It’s been a long six days in the dark for thousands of people in New Jersey, but on Friday night the situation was much improved.

Latest Outage Numbers: PSE&G | JCP&L

On its website, PSE&G posted “We appreciate your patience,” while declaring that it had “safely restored power to more than 95 percent of affected customers.” About 3,000 PSE&G outages remained in Essex, Bergen and Passaic counties.

JCP&L said it should be able to restore power to nearly 5,300 customers at some point Friday night.

Governor Chris Christie announced that state damage assessments conducted by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management in coordination with FEMA will be begin on Monday.

The assessments will take place starting in Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, Sussex and Warren counties.

Authorities also believe an elderly New Jersey couple found dead hours before electricity was restored to their rural home died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

A utility worker and a relative found the bodies of 84-year-old Robert Stephens and his 79-year-old wife, Susanna Stephens, on Thursday evening in Milford.

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns III said it appears to be a tragic accident. Family members told police the two were vibrant and healthy, and had been in touch with relatives throughout the storm.

Kearns said autopsies are pending, but preliminary findings indicate the couple succumbed to fumes likely from a gasoline electrical generator found in their enclosed garage. The family’s cat and dog were removed from the home alive.

Six deaths in New Jersey are now linked to the October storm.

It’s been a long week for thousands of people without power.

The governor said utility workers have been harassed by people still without power as a result of Saturday’s snowstorm. He said at least three arrests have been made but had no details.

PSE&G also got some help from utility crews from other states, including Georgia, Indiana and Michigan, but Mark Snodgrass’ crew isn’t leaving just yet.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

“No not yet,” Snodgress  said. “We’re going to wait until we get everyone restored.”

He and his crew are from Washington D.C. and have been in New Jersey since Monday.

“Just long hours,” he said. “We’re slowly making progress the best we can.”

He said he’s had to deal with from frustrated customers, but understands they’ve been in the dark for days.

In New York, Con Edison is reporting a small number of customers without power, mostly in Westchester.

Latest Outage Numbers: Con Edison | NYSEG | Orange & Rockland

Some Rockland officials are calling for a state investigation because a number of Orange & Rockland Utilities customers were still in the dark. Now, elected officials are demanding answers.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

Generators hummed for a sixth day in Joe Hannas’ New City neighborhood.

“Haven’t shaved in a week, it’s very hard,” he said. “I have to get up in the middle of the night, give my wife an injection and this is really a catastrophe.”

“We have first class rates and third-world service, so I can understand the anger that’s out there,” said Ramapo Councilman Daniel Freedman. “But I want to take that anger and I want to funnel directly to the state. We have to go to Albany. We have to make these kind of changes.”

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams In Union County

With a smile and a sigh, many in Summit, N.J., eagerly told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams on Friday morning that the ordeal was over and that their lights were flickering on last night.

That was not the case with councilman Mike Vernotico, who has been getting help from neighbors.

“People have been great. The citizens have been great. JCP&L, as usual, has been a huge disappointment.  After Irene, we thought… that… improvements would be made, but there have been no improvements. So, I’m hoping that the governor will take charge and demand that they have emergency plans so that we never have to go through this again,” Vernotico told Adams.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: Now It’s LIPA’s Turn

When Hurricane Irene hit Long Island a few months back, crews from as far away as Indiana came to help the Long Island Power Authority turn the lights back on to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Now it was LIPA’s turn to travel.

A spokesperson for the utility told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall that hundreds of workers traveled to Westchester County, New York City, Massachusetts to help crews in those locations deal with the massive outages caused by the freak October snowstorm.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: NJ Schools In A Tough Spot

Please share your thoughts below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Morris Bergen

    I’m still wondering why Chris Christie isn’t suing New York City over the storm. City residents had ZERO damage, so they’re fully responsible for all New Jersey damage and THEY MUST PAY.

  • oldone

    If they would install all the cables underground most of the troubles would go away.

    • Att. Hoar

      Too expensive to install (Uderground System), cities are probably not wiling to pony up the cash.

    • p8nt

      Underground systems like the once in NYC, only work when streets are uniform, and when you have to run massive amounts of utility lines, especially when its for a high rise. In the suburbs, the cost is way too expensive to do that only to run 1 or 2 lines into a house, add to that the huge impact it will have during construction.

  • Adele Lightner

    Again, airlines are being fined for inconveniencing their passangers, why should w not fine Utiility Companies; they have truly no incentive other than helping the businesses making more money, and in the end, due to the influx of Generator usage, they end up making a killing.
    I should also say that the people whose working life was interupted – meaning loss of pay – should file compensatory claims. Mine was $400, since I only work pt. But, any business that had to close and workers stayed home not earning, should take actions, making sure that in the future this delay does not happen again.
    However, the people around the outage area, must do their share as well. Trim your trees, or if the city is responsible, make sure that trimming goes on monthly, or cut down the trees that are in danger of collapsing. But, this work should be striclty supervised, because I have never in my life see government workers work so slowly.
    When I drive down 684, where construction has been taking place since I don’t know how long, workers are standing around talking. This delay is costing the taxpayer plenty.
    Furthermore, Utility companies must inspect electrical poles for damage, or weakness, avoiding the mess we have seen with both storms.
    Lastly, it is known at least three days ahead of time when a particular storm takes place, make sure drainage areas are cleared, or improved, this way the flooding should be minimal. I call that PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE, something I always implemented while working as a House Manager, for private families – the reason why, it avoids having to pay astronomical amounts for repair. It was successful in my career, and it should be successful with the State/City/County, as well.

    • p8nt

      Well let’s see, no power means your not getting charged for electricity during that time. Also, disruption due to weather, isn’t the same thing as being stuck in the tarmac for several hours. If you feel so inconvenienced, why not just move to NYC!!

      I understand being frustrated without power to a point, but I have to say all this whining, complaining, and blaming is getting too stupid. People think that it takes a few minutes to hook up a new power line.
      Do you morons not understand the voltage that each of those live lines carry? A single mis-step could cause a bigger power outage, fire, or death. They’d have to check and make sure the lines are ok, then trace it to see if the issue is with a transformer, check the substation relay, or even go house to house. Add to that working long hours day in and day out, especially for the work crews that are out-of-state.

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