Thousands Without Power in NJ as High Winds Knock Down Power Lines, Tree Limbs
It's two hands on the wheel as blustery winds blow across New Jersey on Sunday bringing down tree branches and power lines plunging thousands into darkness.
"Mother Nature has been quite angry this weekend, throwing New Jersey a mix of powerful thunderstorms, wintry weather, and ferocious winds Saturday night and Sunday morning," meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. Penny sized hail was reported in Woolwich and South Harrison in Gloucester while a 71 MPH gust was reported in Cape May County that flipped over a 32-foot camper early Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service's High Wind Warning is in effect until noon for wind out of the northwest of 25 to 35 MPH with gusts up to 60 MPH.
Nearly 65,000 are in the dark as of 8 a.m. on Sunday morning.
- JCP&L's outage map shows nearly 26,000 without power mostly in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Union.
- PSE&G outage map shows almost 32,000 customers are without power with the most outages in Bergen, Burlington, Union, Essex, Passaic, Middlesex and Camden counties.
- Atlantic City Electrc's 7,000 outages are focused mostlty in Atlantic and Cape May counties.
“We take every storm with the potential for outages seriously and have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with auxiliary equipment at the ready,” said John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G. “Strong winds can make it difficult for our trucks to get around, and our crews can’t go up in buckets to make repairs until the winds subside. Should there be outages, please know that we will restore customers as quickly and safely as possible.”
JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said crews are out working to restore power.
"Our crews are out there responding and restoring customers. We had additional support come in today and we have tree contractors helping us with tree related outages," Morano said. "Safety is our number one concern each and every day not only of our workers but the general public as well."
Morano advises people to stay away from downed power lines.
Drivers can expect wind gusts to try and push their cars off the road along with branches and other debris on the road. The speed on the George Washington Bridge is reduced to 35 MPH with a ban on empty trailers. The speed on the Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge has been reduced to 25 MPH.
Trees blocked lanes on Route 295 in Florence, Route 179 in Lambertville, Route 206 in Chester and Route 47 in Cape May County.