JCP&L Power Estimates 'Grossly Inaccurate,' Mayor Says
Montville Mayor Tim Braden said the only accurate information the township has received for power restoration has been directly from linemen.
Montville officials have begun to lose faith in estimates for power restoration to homes throughout the township from JCP&L.
"The information that we do have frm JCP&L is grossly inaccurate," Mayor Tim Braden said Tuesday. "Their estimate was they were going to put on 1,000 homes between Sunday and Monday and, from our count, we had zero homes come on."
Much of the township's residents remained without power early this week after it was put out by downed trees and wires as a result of Tropical Storm Sandy. Braden said the only accurate information the township has received is from direct conversations with the linemen as they work in Montville. Initially, as residents continued to be concerned about the long-lasting power outages, the township was sharing the estimates provided by JCP&L through Nixle alerts. But that has since stopped.
"Their information is unreliable and for us to pass on unreliable information would be inappropriate," Braden said.
But Ron Morano, spokesperson for JCP&L, said the numbers provided by the utility company to Montville, and other municipalities, are not set in stone.
"The information that we provide is based on estimates," Morano said. "Estimates can change depending on other work that's going on."
Morano said the changes can be positive, if, for instance, workers are able to complete projects more quickly in one area than initially anticipated.
Braden said the JCP&L workers are out in Montville and working to restore power, but the specific numbers of homes that could be restored on any given day has not been correct. Many residents have complained that they do not see the power trucks on their streets, but Braden said workers have been seen in areas throughout the township and working on substations. Three major substations-by Chapin Road, Boonton Avenue and Changebridge Road-remained in disrepair on Tuesday.
"They need to get those substations up before they can power up those areas of the town," Braden said.
Braden said between 60 percent and 70 percent of the township had power restored as of Tuesday and that not only JCP&L employees, but township employees have been working around the clock to ensure resident safety. He specifically noted the Montville Township Police Department.
"They are going above and beyond," he said. "These guys are working the maximum they possibly can."
Residents who remain without power can visit the comfort station/shelter set up at Montville Township High School. More information about the township's power situation was also being handed out at all polling locations Tuesday, Braden said.