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Just 80% of Township Power Restored Sunday

Acting mayor Tracy Tobin says Washington Township's electricity won't be totally restored by deadline.

Despite dozens of crews and more than 150 personnel members reconstructing utility poles throughout Washington Township, a full restoration of electricity by the end of Sunday is unlikely, according to committeeman and acting mayor Tracy Tobin.

Earlier this week, Gov. Chris Christie said power restoration would be complete by 11:59 p.m. Sunday. 

As of 2 p.m., Tobin said Jersey Central Power & Light representatives communicated that just 80-percent of the township would be restored by end of day Sunday.

"Power and tree crews will continue to work on restoration into the new week," Tobin said via email to Long Valley Patch. "The revision is due to the severity and extent of the damage from Sandy, which is worse than the initial estimates. Trees over and/or leaning on power lines are hampering some of the work."

Duke Energy set up a command center at the Long Valley Middle School Sunday, dispersing its crews to areas of town still without power. As of noon, West Morris Central High School was back online, and Old Farmers Road was closed so crews could work uninterrupted in returning power to that school and residential area.

JCP&L, the area’s electric provider, admitted it severely underestimated the assessments it made for Washington Township, Tobin said.

As of noon, some 780 residences were still without power in the municipality.

Tobin, who is still without power himself, was providing information from the Washington Township Police Department, while committeemen Dave Kennedy and Jim LiaBraaten were driving through the township and communicating with Duke Energy managers.

Mayor Ken Short and Vice Mayor Bill Roehrich are currently out of town, Tobin said.

In order to replace a utility pole, the procedure takes approximately two hours with a crew of three workers, Tobin said. Despite the pace Duke Energy was working on Sunday, day 13 post-Hurricane Sandy, Tobin said an additional 50 workers would be in town working Monday morning.

Days after Hurricane Sandy impacted the area, JCP&L told Mayor Ken Short 65-percent of the town's power would be restored by the end of Sunday, Nov. 4. When that didn't happen, the company stated the majority of town would be online by end of day Wednesday, Nov. 7, with "trouble" spots being restored over the next few days. 

lvlv November 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Still no power for Naughright from Fairview to Squire Hill/Ranney. Guess we are last!
In_the_dark November 12, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Power is back on west valley brook rd from Beacon Hill to Vernoy as near as I can tell
cecile marie November 12, 2012 at 01:13 AM
We have electrici!!! at the corner of Naughright and Fairview. We can see lights in both directions on Fairview so we hope our neighbors up the hill have electric too. Still dangerous though with trees still threatening the lines, maybe the tree crews will show up tomorrow.
mad November 12, 2012 at 01:57 AM
For what its worth, no one on the town council should be given any kudos at this point for their efforts. Way too little way too late. It's like whip cream on a pile of dog sh#$.
KEE November 12, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I am on west valley brook between beacon hill and vernoy and the power is not on
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) November 12, 2012 at 03:16 AM
For those of you interested, we spoke with Mayor Ken Short this evening. In a letter to the residents, here's what he wanted to say: http://patch.com/A-z10K
JoAnn Spilman November 12, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Mayor - we all support you. You have done an outstanding job. You took on the county, state and jcpl. If anyone wants your role and efforts, go for it.
In_the_dark November 12, 2012 at 03:18 AM
We are on the south side of west valley brook east of turtle back and Beavers intersection. Power came back at 7:25
MaryLynn Schiavi November 12, 2012 at 03:22 AM
I know there is a lot anger. I was without power for 10 days. I lost money and time. But today I felt an overwhelming sadness. I look around at our beautiful trees that lie, beaten to the ground -- everywhere. I think that in my lifetime, I will never see these trees again. It will take 50 to 100 years for them to return, and I will be gone. Many of us will be. What this storm has inspired within me is to think about what home really means. I've concluded that home is the place and the circumstances that allow you to be who you really are. This storm has inspired me to rethink every aspect of my life. Maybe this is why mother nature throws storms at us -- to force us to think and rethink.
JoAnn Spilman November 12, 2012 at 03:23 AM
For the rest of LV - after 2 weeks learning that peeps from LV didn't even report to jcpl that they had zip power. Really? Report your outage, then report it DAILY. If you can't help yourselves than stop cranking. Read your jcpl bill.
JoAnn Spilman November 12, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Call JCPL _ and if you don't have the guts to post your real name than go away!
TaoofPooh November 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
We have no power on Fleming Ct. Wolfe run and Fairmount road as well as those off of and surrounding have power but we still do not. It is 1040.
JoAnn Spilman November 12, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Long Valley winers? Duke Energy set up their operations center at the middle school this weekend. I learned that on the Patch. Why didn't you drive there yesterday or today to record your power outage issues? So cry elsewhere.
KEE November 12, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Power came on at 10:56 on West Valley Brook rd just beyond Beacon Hill
Dick Larkin November 12, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Squire Hill, Ranney and Naughright from Fairview North STILL WITHOUT POWER, DESPITE 3 DAYS OF ASSURANCES THAT CREWS WORKING ON OUR CIRCUIT WOULD NOT STOP UNTIL THE JOB WAS FINISHED. WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST TELL THE TRUTH?? 95% of Township now connected by 11:59?? Maybe others who got power early will forget about all this, but my family will never forget this fiasco...from top to bottom, everyone involved were about as informative and useful as a second _________ .
MTSO November 12, 2012 at 05:35 AM
When everyone's power is restored maybe we should try to fix some items: The township communication was lacking for the first week and a half. JCP&L neither communicated, assessed, prioritized or repaired our service correctly. Customers were not prepared for a 7-10 day power outage. I am sure there are more.
DXJ November 12, 2012 at 07:01 AM
As I recall, that meeting was a b**** session that produced very little in the way of results. So why not. Let's have another angry town hall and complain about the lack of god-like powers in our government officials and how we expect miracles from them. I think the anger is misdirected. All the power to bring back electricity is in the hands of JCP&L, who are a monopoly. I don't think they want us all to be without power for such a long time, but they obviously don't feel like they have to answer to every town official either. All status information ultimately comes from them anyway. I got my info from JCP&L just like everyone else. This time 'round, a couple of trees fell on my house and water was pouring in during the storm. we were powerless to do anything about it while the storm raged. I was on the roof for days afterward trying to secure a tarp and clear the trees away. We cooked on a gas grill. We flushed toilets with water from the hot tub. We had to cut our way out of the driveway. I'm sure many others had a similar experience. The point is that despite all the discomfort and anxiety, it never occurred to me for an instant to blame this on someone else or to get angry about it. We were all told ahead of time that the power would go out and that it could be pretty bad. We were all told what to do to prepare. It wasn't exactly a surprise.
Tracy Tobin November 12, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Team Casper NO Township Official has any authority to tell Energy Repair crews to TURN ON AN Electrical Circuit! Duke Energy company's Full Time Professsional Disaster Recovery Team has experienced full time engineers/line crews/safety officers/etc. who determine if a line is safe to turn on. A working crew can complete repairs on their section of a circuit, but the management professionals from Duke Energy made the decision as to when the lines go live. Rightly so, because they knew when it was safe to do so. Duke Energy employees, from the people working on the physical repairs to the Senior Managers on site are some of the best people I have dealt with. They don't need a local municipal elected official or employee "juggling their elbow" and constantly asking them "Can't you turn on the electric in this area now? People need their power back now". Some of these professionals worked on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. They know how residents suffer w/o power and heat and the frustration of not being able to get and answer as to when power will be back on. There were five of their work crews (25-30 people) working steadily at the Naughright Road/Arrowhead Drive intersection Friday night and most of Saturday in order to make repairs that opened up a long section of Naughright Road late in the day on Saturday, restoring power to a large number of homes. Do you think they worked slowly and without any concern or sense of urgency? I don't think so.
wtgodot November 12, 2012 at 09:59 AM
with residents like Lolita in this twp who needs the Taliban. Lolita is a burned out, depressed idiot with rotting teeth and an ugly grin. Look out for him. Funny he doesn't realize halloween is over.
stacie bohr November 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM
I don't understand the thought process of people who say, "If you don't like it, why don't you run for mayor". If I wanted to be mayor, I would...but I don't. Mr. Short chose to run, (albeit unchallenged) and with that comes his responsibility in leadership. While I would hope to imagine he is doing all that he can from Aruba...it really was a poor choice to take this trip during this unprecedented situation. It doesn't matter if the trip was booked eight months or eight days ago. I always purchase cancellation insurance and I'm a "nobody". Maybe that should be thought of next time. With all due respect, Mr. Short, this really is a slap in the face to those of us who were lucky enough to sleep in our own beds for the first time in two weeks.
Johnnythetruck November 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Hey cowardly wtgodot, how childish, why don't you post your message in your own name? You must be scared to death of the person.
MTSO November 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Tracy, I guess the question is why did they finally get to Naughright Road on day 11. Wasn't the overall JCP&L estimate 7-10 days. Wasn't that the largest outage in Washington Twsp? I know people on day 9 who had a single residence getting repaired. Why was the site ignored for 11 days?
Theresa Tobin November 17, 2012 at 09:03 AM
Washington Township has a website at wtmorris.org, and you can sign up with Nixle to receive updates to your cell phone. There is also a "reverse 911" program that alerts people of urgent or dangerous situations.
LVLongtimer November 17, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Let's use common sense here. Ken Short is a politician. Politicians know better than anyone the power of peoples' perceptions. Ken absolutely knew what many people in LV would say if he went to Aruba in the middle of a disaster. He chose to go anyway which tells me he was willing to live with the consequences. Period.
Gadfly November 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM
You are correct Stacie....it makes as much sense as it would if you responded to a Jcpl critic, "if you don't like the job jcp&l is doing, why don't you start a utility company?"
cecile marie November 17, 2012 at 03:44 PM
The job of mayor is a serious job. Mayor Bloomberg of NYC works for $1 a year and performs his job as though he were paid. (not commenting on how well, just that he puts in the effort and time). He receives and takes constant criticism for his actions and does not mention he works for no pay. No one in Washington Township wants to run for mayor, and it is extremely difficult to get someone to run, so maybe we need to consider an alternative. Is there an alternative governmental structure to consider for Washington Township? Could we "join" another township and share a mayor and board?
Jerry Gordon November 17, 2012 at 04:06 PM
The only way you "could join"another township and share a mayor and board" is to move.
XHQ November 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I read Mayor Short's letter and many comments posted there. Thanks Jason. My conclusion is this: 1. This town needs a new vision, to be both a green AND a smart town AND with lower tax. 2. Mayor Short aparenrly is a good spirited, hard-working administrator, but he is not the type of transformational leader this town needs for the good times nor a crisis leader we can rely on at bad times.
Tracy Tobin November 17, 2012 at 11:00 PM
MTSO Sorry to be so late in responding to your question re the long period from when the storm hit and when Duke Energy crews started working on the Naughright/Arrowhead blockage. The crews had to travel from North Carolina to New Jersey, which is at least a two day trip, with the heavy repair equipment/trucks/supplies. I believe they were in Reading PA at one point, but don't know if it was a stopping point on the way or whether they were diverted by powr problems in that area. They then had to get their assignments from JCP&L re the area they were supposed to work on, electrical circuits in their assigned areas, assess the damage and materials/equipment needed for repairs and work their way from the electrical substation supplying the area (assuming it was still in operation). They had to work their way down Naughright Road from the Mt. Olive border, restoring power at Cuccinella School along the way, until they reached the Naughright/Arrowhead junction where they found an incredible tangle of trees/power poles/electrical & communications wires/damaged or destroyed transformers, etc. They had to clear downed & dangerous trees, make repairs, remove & replace new power poles & transformers, test the repaired lines and be sure they did not place anyone in jeopardy when the lines went live. All in all I think they did a terrific job, with no loss of life or serious injuries.
Joanne November 17, 2012 at 11:08 PM
but prior to the storm even hitting JCPL said they already sent out the SOS signal....to give crews from afar the heads up and to get here....so coming in late doesn't cut it with me

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