Mayor 'Not Impressed' With JCP&L Effort

Twp. damages will go beyond $5 million, official predicts.

As the work week came to a close in Washington Township, residents atop Schooley’s Mountain were having electricity restored despite what one official felt was too slow of a response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“I’m not real impressed with [JCP&L’s] effort,” Mayor Ken Short said late Friday afternoon. “We still have about 20 roads either closed or nearly impassable because of trees tangled in wires that JCP&L has to clear.”

Short said he’s been in touch with Assemblyman Tony Bucco as well as State Senator Anthony Bucco with hopes of putting pressure on the utility provider.

A preliminary tour of the town gave Short a rough estimate of $2 million in damages to homes–not including driveways, vehicles, or sheds and other buildings on private property, he said.

“I think $2 million is a conservative number,” Short said. “When all is said and done, I’d say that total goes over $5 million.” The Federal Emergency Management Association was expected to tour the township Friday as well.

JCP&L crews had restored electricity to the Washington Township Police Department, Library, and Senior Center early Friday. Neighborhoods atop Schooley’s Mountain in the area of Flocktown and Naughright Roads were seeing electricity restored as Friday came to a close.

And until power is fully restored, Short is asking residents to continue calling the utility provider to remind them of outages. The phone number to reach them is 888-544-4877.

If trees and power lines are still strewn about in the township come Monday, when trick-or-treating hours are scheduled, festivities may be postponed yet again.

“We’ll have to wait and see and make the call as the time approaches,” Short said. “We can’t have children walking around in that.”

What’s Available and When

The following services and shelters are available to residents:

  • Fairmount Firehouse is a warming station for residents with the availability to charge electronics.
  • Schooley’s Mountain Firehouse is a 24/7 shelter for residents to stay and sleep. Please bring your own food, blankets and pillows.
  • Potable water can be received–in resident’s own containers–at the Police Department, Fairmount and Schooley’s Mountain Firehouses, and Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority.
  • The Washington Township Library will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Water and ice will be available to residents at noon at the Senior Center at Rock Spring Park.
  • The Dog Pound Hot Dog Truck will be donating cooked hot dogs and water bottles to residents at noon at the Senior Center.
  • Residents can rid their homes of spoiled food in a dumpster between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday at the Department of Public Works.

For full coverage on Hurricane Sandy’s impact to Washington Township, go here.

What's your power status and location? Let us know in the comment section below.

Jon November 02, 2012 at 11:26 PM
After reading this article, I called JCPL at the number in the article, which is also the number on our bill. The rep was extremely nice, and very helpful. He explained how they are repairing the breaks in order from largest number of customers served to the smallest number of customers served. He was able to tell me that our particular circuit has 1,691 customers on it, and so his personal best guess was that we'd get power back on Monday. Here is their official response to all customers: The majority of people will have power restored by Wednesday, while those in the hardest hit areas will take up to another week. I asked him how can I tell if I am in the "majority of customers" group or the "hardest hit areas" group. He said that all of Morris County is in the "majority of customers" group. He said there are 135,000 customers without power in Morris County, and 32% have been restored so far. Their definition of the "hardest hit areas" is: Middlesex, Essex, Monmouth, and Somerset Counties.
willbur November 03, 2012 at 02:34 AM
thanks for the nice update, i appreciate it.
JCP&L MIA November 03, 2012 at 10:28 AM
No JCP&L trucks to be seen anywhere in Long Valley. Roads still closed and lines still down all over the place with zero progress. What a disaster.
Betsy Guzenski November 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM
We actually saw a tree truck come through yesterday but they were headed elsewhere. They THOUGHT perhaps we would be on the list within a day or two. I also called JCP&L and got a representative. She was quite lovely and updated our "ticket" but was not able to give me the information that you got, Jon. I did explain that between our neighbor's house and ours there were about 10 trees on the wires plus we have the main pole in front of our house which is snapped in two and a pole leading to our house which is lying on the ground. No damage to our house which makes us luckier than some, certainly....my concern is the nor'easter that is supposedly headed our way...may everyone stay warm and safe.
Jennifer Simon November 03, 2012 at 01:07 PM
On day 4, yesterday, a utility worker came by and took pics. That's it!! Day 5, still without power. Every year we lose power and every year jcp&l's response is slower...but i pay more and more. There is something wrong with that
LV Resident November 03, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Before this storm ever hit they said outages will be 7-10 days. that gave people time to plan for the amount of time they may be with out power.. I have to say I can not believe that the griping is actually starting because of power outage issues. Have you seen the news? Or talked to anyone? we should all be so grateful rigt now for whatblittle we do have. Many people have NOTHING.
Robert & Linda Cline November 03, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I am over on Hacklebarney Road. I can count at least six power poles snapped and tree damage is unbelievable! Wires all over, there isn't going to be school for a while. I am very lucky to have a generator. I just pray there is enough poles and transformers to make repairs. And when I see the Jersey shore and New York I am so blessed.
Domino November 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Speaking to the Buccos is about as effective as speaking to Daffy Duck and Mickey Mouse. The amount of influence that they have is one big fat zero. They are probably the only politicians who will take Short's phone calls. The only political person who has any influence at this point is the Governor. Glad FEMA is coming; it will give the mayor a chance to get a nice photo op.
Joey Boots November 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Does anyone in LV have power?
Shadowfax November 03, 2012 at 04:48 PM
W Springtown down to Wherli including the new development. I'm further down the road and have been without since Monday. I don't sees anyone working in my area so it's looking like we're sol.
Shadowfax November 03, 2012 at 04:49 PM
W Springtown down to Wherli including the new development. I'm further down the road and have been without since Monday. I don't sees anyone working in my area so it's looking like we're sol.
Douglas Nelson November 03, 2012 at 05:06 PM
9% restored in Washington Twp according to JCP_L. Probably the lowest in the state. The only consolation is that at least we have not lost everything. Hopefully we won't have to wait until day 10
MTSO November 03, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Hey Mayor Short, how about an update of what JCP&L crews are in Washington Township, if any, and where they are working as I have seen none. The percentage in our township without power compared to others in Morris County is ridiculous.
Mrs.C November 03, 2012 at 06:14 PM
We were without power for almost 10 days during last years Oct. snowstorm. The town had a meeting with JCP&L a month later. My husband and I attended but there were only 50 other residents of Washington Township present! Where were you all then? Not at the meeting. We are still without power and my prayers go out to those who have lost everything but with that said, JCP&L still has communication problems and that is causing much frustration!
Katie November 04, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Yes, the lack of power and action in town is terrible. But... Have you driven around town and noticed how bad it is? There are transformers in the middle of main roads, tree pieces jutting out from the sides, trees leaning precariously on lines, huge trees still blocking major roads, etc. This is HUGE. We are frustrated here also but our homes are safe, family accounted for and we are still able to get out for food and water. While I would really appreciate coming home to a fully lit house and throwing dinner into an oven, I for one, am thankful that Long Valley is still functioning, that there are services, and that in a week or so we should be able to resume where we left off.
John Neubeck November 04, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I don't know what Mayor Short was expecting when there are many more populous and damaged areas than Long Valley. JCP&L did a great job getting Hackettstown medical center on line quickly. While I'm no expert, but I believe that hospitals are the very first priority then other crucial services. Next up will be area's with numerous customers and business centers. Keep in mind cutting the trees is performed by tree cutting crews not the power companies themselves. Trees laying on wires pose a significant risk as the tension in the wires is so great that it can fling a tree upright as it gets cut back. While we are inconvenienced by the storm's damage, I have observed driving around town most all of us have homes to back to and we will have our power soon enough. We are town of roughly 16,000 residents over 50 square miles with difficult terrain, no medical centers nor significant business centers so do the math we're simply not a priority Mayor Short.
Ross Morrissey November 04, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Mr. Mayor I'm not impressed - yes people have it worse who lost homes - but day 7 begins no pwr no heat - snow forecasted WED - let's get the debris cleared & open a gas station or two - let's get a generator or two to our community - pwr is on around us - do we want to be last to be restored two years in a row? If so how about a tax credit - aren't you up for re-election ?
Long Valley Dad November 05, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Mayor Short should be more vocal in his representation of Washington Township. It may not make a difference but he is our representative and voice. I think the people of the Township have been more than patient. We are frustrated and we want to have our elected officials voice those frustrations. It may not make a difference but at least we will feel better knowing someone is fighting for us. I for one am tired of the beaucratic nonsensical explanations I am hearing about why we don't have power. By now, it should be well beyond not being impressed to outrage anger and bitter disappointment. People everywhere deserve better. Heck - the people in New Orleans had it better with Katrina then we have.
rose November 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM
DAY 9. Has anyone seen Beacon Hill/Light? An electric company was on Beacon Thursday doing an assessment. Nothing has been done, no trucks, no work. I just got off the phone with JCP&L customer service and they cannot offer any more detail than the canned statement. Doubtful power will be back with the impending weather forecast this week. DISGRACEFUL!
JL November 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Seriously? You are comparing what people went through in Katrina to not having power for 9 days? They did not have power in certain areas for MONTHS! Oh yeah, and how many people died in Katrina? What we are going through in LV is a minor inconvenience compared to other places. Have you seen the Shore? Have you seen Breezy Point? People lost EVERYTHING. Houses are literally gone. They have NOTHING left! A colleague of mine literally gave a man who lost EVERYTHING the shoes off of his feet because the man was walking around with plastic bags tied around his feet. Disappointment and frustration are understandable. You are right. People everywhere deserve better. But, so what if the power is out for even two weeks? If you could take a step back from your self-absorbed me, me, me attitude and look beyond the end of your nose to see the sheer scale of devastation across the region, you might be able to recognize how thankful you should be to have your family safe and a home that you can go back to even if there is no power. Ask someone who lived in Sea Bright if they would trade places with you right now. It might give you a little perpective.
Sman November 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I am not going to compare various areas of the state and their levels of suffering. It is a fact that many other areas have it much worse than we do - no argument there. My frustration is from lack of ownership and communication from our Mayor in LV. The Mayor of Mt. Olive has been providing much more detailed updates outlining the work being performed. While, JCP&L may be feeding him information that may not be accurate, at least he is sharing. What is Mayor Short doing? What have we seen from his office? I have seen nothing via formal media channels or via social media outlets aside from the "disappointment" above. At some point, we need to hold our local officials accountable. I do not expect them to fix the power situation, I demand that they represent our collective interests and push, pull and poke the right folks and give us updates! To me, this event shows that the current local representation we have either cannot or will not represent our collective interests.
Kay More November 06, 2012 at 07:37 PM
And the Mayor's efforts have been impressive????
chris November 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
If you don't have power still file a compliant with the state http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/complaints/inquiry.html


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