MORRISTOWN, N.J., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 1,600 additional linemen will arrive in New Jersey today to join nearly 14,000 Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) employees, FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) professionals, outside contractors and utility workers who are concentrated on restoring power following last week's Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter that blew through the area late yesterday. Currently, about 269,000 JCP&L customers are without power as a result of the two storms combined.
Approximately 93 percent of the 1.2 million JCP&L customers affected by Hurricane Sandy have been restored, with the company's best forecasts calling for the 149,000 remaining customers to be restored by the end of the weekend.
The nor'easter left up to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow across central New Jersey, resulting in more than 120,000 additional power outages. Crews are working day and night to restore customers affected by this storm. The company's best forecast calls for these customers to be restored throughout next week.
"Hurricane Sandy was the most devastating storm in our company's history, with customers in New Jersey and West Virginia continuing to feel the full force of its impact," said Charles E. Jones, senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. "The nor'easter further complicates the situation. Our customers' hardships are real and we will continue our massive restoration effort until all have their power restored. In addition, we greatly appreciate the assistance we have received from elected officials, police, fire and emergency management personnel for their dedicated efforts in keeping public safety a priority and helping us meet the unprecedented challenges of this disastrous storm."In West Virginia, restoration activities center on repair of damage caused by high winds and deep snow in the higher elevations. More than 350 off-road distribution poles have already been replaced, and work continues on replacing an additional 300 off-road poles. The majority of the remaining 15,000 Mon Power customers are expected to be restored by midnight Friday. Restoration for customers in the most heavily damaged areas, including parts of Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Nicholas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties, may continue into the weekend. Customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines. Always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and keep children and pets away from them. Downed wires should be reported immediately to your electric company or local police or fire department. Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity. They should wait for emergency services or utility crews to arrive.