Power outage numbers continued to drop slightly across the state Wednesday night after a small increase was seen from morning to noon. According to one utility company, though, residents shouldn't expect power back any time soon from a storm it is comparing to Hurricane Katrina.
JCP&L reported in a release on Wednesday that the majority of customers will be restored within the next seven days. However, it could take up to two weeks for customers in the hardest-hit areas to regain power, the company said.
JCP&L reported 940,999 of its nearly 1.1 million customers remained in the dark as of about 9:22 p.m. on Wednesday, according to its outage map. The number includes 264,061 in Monmouth; 202,655 in Ocean; 73,388 in Middlesex; 23,880 in Union; and 16,442 in Mercer.
The utility company said in a release Wednesday that it has restored power to nearly 160,000, or about 20 percent, of its customers.
Atlantic Electric reported that more than 70,000 are still without power in Manahawkin, Ocean City, Galloway, Atlantic City and other points in South Jersey.
“The damage from Hurricane Sandy far exceeds what we saw from Hurricane Irene or the October 2011 snowstorm,” said Don Lynch, president of JCP&L, in a release. “While we were better prepared for Hurricane Sandy, the damage rivals that experienced during Hurricane Katrina, one of our nation’s most devastating and expensive hurricanes. In preparing for Hurricane Sandy, we positioned 1,600 line crews and 1,200 forestry professionals prior to the storm even making landfall.”
At the peak, more than 1 million of JCP&L’s 1.1 million customers were without power.