Power Restoration Efforts Continue In South Jersey
Utility crews will be back out today restoring power to South Jersey a day after violent thunderstorms rolled through the air on Saturday morning bringing down utility wires and more trees than Hurricane Irene.
Progress has been made in the past 24 hours as almost 100,000 customers have been restored; 206,000 customers were without power on Saturday morning following the storm.
As of 7AM on Sunday morning the Atlantic City Electric outage map shows 110,372 customers still without power. During a press conference yesterday Governor Christie said “We’ll be calling on power companies throughout the state to assist Atlantic City Electric."
In a statement on their website, the utility anticipates that full restoration of power could take "several days" as crews work to assess storm damage but they will work "round the clock" until all customers are restored. The utility expects most customers to be back online by Wednesday.
Feared additional thunderstorms never developed anywhere in South Jersey much to the relief of utility crews although the threat remains for more storms to develop today.
A State Of Emergency is still in effect for Atlantic County to allow emergency officials to assess damage.A curfew was also in effect in Atlantic City starting Saturday night at 9PM until Sunday morning at 6AM.
The Press of Atlantic City reports six Atlantic City Beach Patrol boats damaged by the storms and two washed out to sea, although one was eventually recovered. Three lifeguard stands were destroyed as the wind blew them across the sand, said Beach Patrol Chief Rod Aluise.
Governor Christie has called on the New Jersey National Guard to bring in generators and cautions some people may not get their power back until the end of the week following a meeting with Atlantic County government officials.
Christie called the damage caused by the storms as "very significant" according to the Press of Atlantic City. Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson called it worse than that caused by Hurricane Irene last summer.
The Governor and Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno, said their administration is "fully engaged" to facilitate the clean up. Christie said he has spoken to Verizon about bringing in tenporary cell phone towers and his Office Of Homeland Security commissioner about assisting with any evacuations that may be needed.
Christie has requested State Police help to back up work being done by the Sheriff’s Department.
He said that area hospitals are fully operational and that the casinos are open. Christie walked a fine line between telling visitors to come down and being careful to allow work crews to do their jobs along the road.
The powerful storms, which featured heavy rain, lightning and strong winds that gusted as high as 60 mph, knocked down numerous trees and power lines throughout the region. Most lasted no more than a half hour.
An emergency hotline has been established to provide update - call 1-866-704-4636.
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