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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.

Amanda Chapman November 09, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I live on Woodmont Road. JCP&L restored power to the entire street 3 days ago, but not us because our line is down at the pole on the street - I call twice a day asking when we will get power.....I guess we are just one in a million other people doing the same thing. Unbelievable at this point. They should have had the 1600 extra people here a week ago not yesterday. Amanda Chapman
Rosie November 09, 2012 at 01:50 PM
It is not only JCP&L. It is also Optimum (Cablevision). Our electricity was out for about 6 days after the storm. This, in our estimation, was pretty good but still deserves some kind of a refund. No service, no payment. However, our Optimum account which includes cable TV, Internet, but, more importantly, our phone, has been out since day one. It comes on - as a tease - for a few hours - and then is gone again. Consequently, we have had to keep putting minutes into our cell phone since this is our only means of contact. So, Cablevision/Optimum, are we going to see some kind of a refund from you? I am using someone elses Internet right now. To some, this might not be an inconvenience. However, to my family andme, without a telephone, is an inconvenience.
art daughtry November 09, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Hi Louise - That's great you got power back quickly this time around, however I'm not wrong (sorry). The advice I left should be used between the township and JCP&L. It sounds like Tim is dealing with the PR folks at JCP&L. Back in the 70's I was the disaster coordinator for NJ Bell Tel working in the JCP&L line office. While much has changed since the 70's ice storms (anyone remember those) the process to get folks power back has not. JCP&L along with a circuit grid map should explain to the TC and public how restoration realy works. They can't explain it all at sat's meeting because the public will need to vent, however some time in the near future they should sit down with our emergency mgmt coordinator, our administrator, and possibly our mayor. The mayor is not the important one because that person changes more often then our administrator and hopefully our emergency mgmt coordinator.
Richard November 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT NOW!!!!!!!! http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/complaints/ File a Complaint OnlineThe Division of Customer Assistance reviews online complaints daily. Online complaints are only processed during normal business hours (9:00 am – 4:00 pm). If the matter involves a gas leak, discontinuance of service, or any other situation that requires immediate action, please call 1-800-624-0241 ---------------------------------------------- Written ComplaintsPlease direct your written complaints to: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Division of Customer Assistance 44 South Clinton Ave, 9th Floor PO Box 350 Trenton, NJ 08625-0350 ------------------------------------------------- Request a Formal HearingUnder the Board's Rules of Practice, N.J.A.C. 14:1-1, et seq., you may file a petition which is a request for a formal hearing. For complete directions, click here
Craig Chapman November 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
17 Woodmont still dark
Cynthia November 09, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Richard, I did that, took a few minutes. This is the governing authority that watches over the utility monopolies. It's the BEST way to show them we mean business and are not going to let this memory fade. Other things people are doing: 1. Call elected officials: Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (202) 225-5034 2. I think there is a town meeting Saturday 9 am-12 noon. Go!!
Marilyn November 09, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Another day in paradise up here on Stonybrook. This is horrendous!
Jason Benecki November 09, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Parts of Taylortown Rd is still without power. We lost it early and seem to be one of the last to get it back.
Dan Faulkner November 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I have all underground wiring and I am still without power. It's not just about the poles and cables. It's also about information. Had I known that I would be without power for this long I would have prepared differently. JCP&L is completely disorganized and is clearly not able to supply accurate information.
EMG November 09, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Cablevision IS crediting accounts - go to this link to report your outage times: https://signin.optimum.net/signin?referer=http://www.optimum.net%2Fcredit
Frank November 09, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Just wandered through town, Hook Mtn , Pine Brook Rd, Douglas Drive, Waughaw, Stoneybrook, Parts of Lake Valhalla , Lower Taylortown. Not one utility truck to be seen anywhere. Are any crews in Montville? Unless someone starts doing something the latest promises are empty IMO. By the way. Is that a speed trap on StoneyBrook in the unmarked Black Dodge?
Dan Faulkner November 09, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I just called JCP&L also based on this comment. They stated that someone had been out to look at the issue on the 7th. All they stated in the ticket was that there was a UG Fault. No indication as to what will need to be done to resolve it or when. As usual, no useful info.
Patricia Plishka November 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Waughaw definitely still in the dark. But I got some information from a neighbor a few months ago. Back in April 2012, She spoke to a "Reliability Engineer" for our area from JCP&L. He made the following assessment of what needs to be changed to decrease the frequency and the duration of power outages in the area. This is his list: 1 - 7 arrestors need to be changed. 2 - 2 animal guards need to be added. 3 - Remove a vine on a primary wire. 4 - 5-1- fuse cut outs changed/added. 5 - 4 year cycle of trimming trees 6 - 5 year cycle of inspections Obviously I am not sure any of the above would have made a difference in this case but it just goes to show that someone did assess that there were issues that needed to be addressed. From what I understand, he put a work order in and it was supposed to take about 2 months. Doubt it ever happened since we've lost power a couple of times since, not mention this time. It is this complete indifference that really troubles me.
Leslie November 09, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Is that meeting 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday 11/10/2012?? Please confirm cause I will be there!! Saw a JCP&L truck on Waughaw last night. FIRST TIME I have seen them there.
Ron Soussa November 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM
The trouble is also that First Energy has no financial incentive to keep the system running. All they do is handle the transmission of electricity (they haven't sold electricity since de-regulation) and get a return on their investment. So when power goes out they're not losing revenue, they just hire some temporary workers and pass the costs on to us. If they have no skin in the game they should lose their monopoly.
Erika November 09, 2012 at 05:36 PM
No power on Pinebrook between Peace Valley and Formost Mt Road.
WatSquad2 November 09, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Not that it will make you feel better Barbara but Kinnelon completely ignores brook valley road east of you. No power for most homes headed toward 287 and JCP&L doesn't have a clue when it's getting restored. Loved the road closed signs up for days until someone took out the low hanging wire. Ridiculous!
Tom Hudacko November 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Power is back ON at Brittany Road. Hopefully also on Cheryl, Flanders, and Demoray. Tom
Dan Faulkner November 09, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Demoray has power again. I think Cheryl, Konner and Britanny most liekly do as well. I asked the JCP&L guys and they said they just bypased the underground fault. Why they could not have done that days ago is beyond me. I don't think it took them very long. JCP&L is slack!
Douglas Cooper November 09, 2012 at 10:17 PM
David Alan Way in the Lake Valhalla area power is back on as of about 4 pm. Thanks to Montville Police for keeping the pressure on JCP&L
linda co November 09, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Still no power on Cliff Road and neighboring streets---JCP&L's list obviously unreliable. Waiting patiently. Linda
Vivian B November 09, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Still no power on StonyBrook Road!!!!
Marilyn November 09, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Once again, those of us on Stonybrook Road and Waughaw Road are left in the dark. It really is astounding how poorly we are treated in these situations. There was some hope earlier in the day when a neighbor was "assured" that JCP&L was going to be working on Waughaw. That never happened. I still have wires down on my driveway that feed the power up here. Nobody has been here to work on them.
bob November 09, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Finally have power on Lancaster Ave. It's like being in paradise.
Megan November 09, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I would complain to gov(609) 777-2500 , call gov office and complain. I called and was told that the gov is speaking with jcp&l and they need people to tell them when there is a problem.
melikric November 10, 2012 at 03:20 PM
According to Gov. Christie's office, the State of NJ Office of Emergency Management (OEM), coordinates with the OEMs of the various counties. In turn, local municipalities are to communicate their issues, need, etc. to their county's OEM. Who, if anyone, in Montville Township government has contacted the Morris County OEM relative to the needs and issues of our residents? Morris County OEM phone no. Is 973-285-2900.
Jean Kida November 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
email I sent to our Mayor: Madison NJ hs their own power company and power is always restored in less than JCP&L are doing. Why don't we look at Madison and mirror what they have done. JCP&L again is not working. I have not seen one truck in the area of Crescent roads since Sandy. They are again disappointing and a disgrace. As Mayor, you have an obligation to have our power restored in a reasonable time. We are now on 6-7 days without power. It is criminal >Response from our Esteemed Mayor: Montville will not be going into the power supply business. I understand your frustration but neither I or any other elected official can prevent acts of God which leave us in this current state of turmoil. I know two things: 1. Your power will be restored. 2. Your power will not be restored fast enough. We suffered no injuries or loss of life. That may not matter to you but in the big picture it matters to me. I suggest you head over to the high school and warm up. The people over there are great full for what they have and appreciative of all we are doing for them. Please join the crowd. Tim Braden
Jean Kida November 11, 2012 at 08:08 PM
email response to above from me to Tim Braden:You need to adjust your attitude. Your answer was condescending and inappropriate. Why don't you go join the crowd over at the high school. You will certainly /not get my vote and I am forwarding your email response to all of my friends and neighbors. I can see you are really open to ideas that will help Montville in the future. How dare you state that I don't care about the welfare and safety of my neighbors. Call me from the high school and I will certainly meet you there to discuss further your email and my suggestion. Of course no call came to me!!! Jean Kida
melikric November 11, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Mr. Braden with his wiseacre response to MS Kida iParty at the election, seems not to comprehend that he is answerable to the people, not vice-versa. As Harry Truman once suggested: "if you can"t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
D Ambriano November 12, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I only wish you could have a vote when it comes to Mayor. Unfortunately, the Mayor is appointed by the Town Council from one of their own, so you won't have a choice or a voice in the matter until Mr. Braden is up for Town Council re-election.

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