JCP&L Gets a 'Big Fat F,' Montville Administrator Says
Mayor said utility company provided street-specific information to township officials Thursday, but it was the first communication about work in Montville.
Mayor Tim Braden said it took the township 10 days to get a call back from JCP&L with Montville information.
"Today is Day 10 of the storm. This is the first day that we've received a call from JCP&L telling us where the crews are working," Braden said.
JCP&L management responded to Montville Thursday morning, as roughly 20 percent of the township remained without power, with detailed information on where they expect power to be restored next. Streets the linemen said they would be working on Thursday included Douglas Drive, Passaic Valley Road, Jacksonville Road and parts of the Lake Valhalla community.
Braden said he and other township officials, as well as residents, have been frustrated by what he called poor communication from JCP&L management as residents and business owners have waited days and nearly two weeks for power restoration.
"This is the information that we were looking for on Day 2 and 3, not on Day 10," he said. "Fortunately, we have some answers for our residents."
Township Administrator Victor Canning said that the township had not received direct information even confirming that JCP&L linemen were working in Montville until Wednesday.
"They get a big, fat 'F,'" Canning said.
He said the company, having experienced similar storms, should have been better prepared to communicate with municipalities. The communication Canning said he did have with JCP&L throughout the week was non-specific and did not seem, in his opinion, to address the needs of Montville residents.
"They're not newbies," he said. "What they failed miserably at is what was done yesterday should have been done the very first day."
On Tuesday, the mayor said the information being provided by JCP&L was "grossly inaccurate." Ron Morano, a spokesman for JCP&L responded.
"The information that we provide is based on estimates," Morano said. "Estimates can change depending on other work that's going on."
Morano was not immediately available for comment Thursday.
The township also posted a list of known streets with outages on its website on Wednesday, but Braden said approximately 70 streets that remained without power were not included on the list. Canning clarified that the list was more of a worksheet that detailed the streets JCP&L confirmed to be aware of being without power.
"We were apalled that the list was incomplete," Braden said. "We knew it was incomplete and we posted it because we were concerned that if our police officers missed something, perhaps the lights were on because they were on generators, we wanted them to confirm with JCP&L."
Despite his concerns with communication from JCP&L, Braden is hopeful, based on Thursday's estimates from the company, that much of the township will soon be restored. He also noted that the township has been pleased with the work of the linemen, themselves.
"We're very pleased with the local power crews, as well as the crews from Ohio, Alabama," Braden said. "Our problem is not with the line crews. Our issues are with JCP&L management and their inability to communicate."
However, Canning did have a message to communicate to the residents of Montville.
"I will not stop until I know everyone has their power restored," he said.
Have you had power restored to your neighborhood? Tell us about it in the comments.