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.