In an effort to that would reduce power outages and enhance service throughout the area, including Washington Township, Jersey Central Power & Light is moving quickly on its tree cutting and substation improvement, according to Mayor Ken Short.
Short , one of JCP&L’s territory managers this week, to discuss changes and where progress has been made.
JCP&L’s tree-cutting program is covering 170 miles of roadway in the area, Short said, and the energy provider has completed work on 40 miles of that area so far.
According to Short, while the deadline for the project is the end of fiscal year 2012, Prater is expecting the job to be complete by this summer.
"They're cutting any dead tree limbs, branches hanging too far over the lines," Short said. "(JCP&L's) wires are the top ones stretching from the utility poles; they're most affected by the limbs."
Substations in Port Murray, Chester, and on Newburgh Road are all being enhanced, Short said, while a new substation in Tewksbury is being built as well. The Tewksbury addition will feed the Califon section of Washington Township–an area often hit hard by frequent and lengthy outages.
Another major change JCP&L is making to its service is refreshing its website to help customers be more informed.
Because Washington Township covers so many towns, it’s always been hard for residents–and JCP&L–to properly communicate what their service area is when an outage occurs, specifically on its website.
Going forward, JCP&L is no longer using a ZIP code structure for its coverage area; rather, it will use tax districts. For those living in the Long Valley, Hackettstown, Chester, Califon, and Port Murray sections of town, all residences will now be classified as Washington Township.
Forecasting the forecast
Also coming to the revamped website will be an estimated power restoration service, giving time frames for regions to expect their electricity to be back up and running.
Some 4,000 residents in Washington Township , according to the township, and have been asked by the energy provider to register their home is supplied as such.
Homes with wells are unable to receive water during outages, because the pumps that bring the water to the home run on electricity.
In the future, JCP&L will contact those registered homes by phone if the forecast–or energy provider–says there may be a potential outage, Short said.
At that time, the homeowner will be eligible for $5 of free water and ice from the nearest supermarket prior to the potential outage occurring, Short said.
According to Prater, JCP&L will also set up satellite staging areas in advance of any major storm or potential outage, with crews being stationed in the area to respond quicker in case of an emergency.