ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Thousands remain without power in New Jersey.
A mess at Hutchinson and Jones Road in Englewood shows the problem: Multiple power lines split in half, wires down, and trees laying straight across the road, tangled up in wire, metal and wooden poles.
“Lucky, thank god no one was killed, no one was hurt,” said Englewood resident Alan Mitrani.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported that she hadn’t seen any utility work crews there Wednesday, but that’s probable because there are so many issues across the state.
It’s a free-for-all at Dana Place and East Palisade Avenue in Englewood since the traffic lights are out. The outage maps for PSE&G and JCP&L show problems all over.
Another problem: Many say the maps aren’t accurate, often leaving off areas that are also without power.
Across Bergen County, countless families were still waiting for help Wednesday.
“Half the town is still without electricity, like, no power right now,” Old Tappan resident Lina Lopez told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “It’s a lot. It’s a lot to handle.”
“The big legacy from this storm is going to be power outages. We peaked at over [1.4 million]. That has now come down under a million,” Murphy said Wednesday. “The sense I get is we’ll get a fair amount of folks back online by tomorrow, but you’re going to get some that’s going to drag, sadly, beyond that.”
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“I’m sure they’re getting inundated, so who knows,” said James Kim of Leonia.
He says the app has giving him all kinds of predicted times for return to service.
“The app said they were making progress, that they sent a crew. And that was as of three o’clock this morning. But then it just changed back to status just reported,” he said.
His next door neighbor says power has been out for more than 24 hours.
“Try to stay home and just keep my window open,” said Sang Shim.
Up the block, a double blackout for Rosemarie Naimo.
“We were at LBI and we left because they had a power outage there also and came here thinking we were gonna have electricity and air conditioning. In the meantime, I have nothing,” she said.
PSE&G says 575,000 customers were impacted and about 275,000 were restored in the first 24 hours.
“We have been reaching out throughout the country, as far away as Canada, Missouri, Florida for mutual aid – contractors and crews to assist us in the restoration,” said PSE&G COO Kim C. Hanemann.
WATCH: CBS2’s Alice Gainer Reports From Englewood —
Downed trees and poles are what’s making things so hard for power crews.
“In addition to the distribution lines that are affected by falling trees and poles coming down and wires coming down, the transmission system has also been damaged considerably. So obviously that has to be fixed first before we can then, or before the utilities can then, distribute the energy to your home, in my home,” said Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Fiordaliso says the hope is that by late Friday night, 80% of customers are restored.
Based on when additional resources arrive, things could change. But some people could be left in the dark until Monday.
If you’re trying to call your power company and can’t get through, they say email or app is best.
Local police departments are also warning residents to look out for live wires after a 68-year-old River Vale man was electrocuted while doing yardwork after the storm.
“This wire was hanging, it wasn’t on the ground actually, so it’s possible he did not see it. Or maybe he did and assumed it was not live,” River Vale Police Chief Sean Scheidle said.
The chief adds, be careful with those generators.
“They should be away from the house, obviously never inside the residence, and the biggest thing is always make sure they’re shut off before refueling,” Scheidle said.
CBS2’s John Dias checked out the damage in Paramus, where much of the neighborhood was still without power. He spoke with one resident who returned home to find a large tree down in her yard.
The tree that once towered higher than two stories was toppled onto its side by the storm’s powerful winds.
“When I first saw it, it looked like a putting green on its side,” neighbor Dan Stewart told Dias.
Reporting Power Outages In New Jersey:
It was a similar scene all over New Jersey.
“Trees are down, branches, limbs,” said Maywood resident Mark Sileo. “I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad.”
The power outages left many working from home during the pandemic feeling hopeless.
“I have to go into the office, because I don’t have power. I was planning to stay home. I’ve been working mainly from home,” one person said.
With the sun out again Wednesday, a lot of people headed back to the beach, but it wasn’t exactly calm after the storm.
In Sea Bright, there was some erosion, but the bigger concern was in the water where rip currents were seen.
If a swimmer isn’t careful, they can quickly get swept away from the shore.
“We have residual surf today, probably anywhere from 2-4 foot,” said Sea Bright Ocean Rescue Captain Michael Hudson. “The storm, as most storms do, dug out holes in the beach, which is actually what leads to our rip currents that we have out here right now.”
Generally the best way to get out of a rip current is swimming parallel to the shore, but no matter what the conditions are, you should always swim in front of a lifeguard and listen to what they say.