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Officials Update Power Outage Numbers [AUDIO]

Listener Penny Carlson from Cokesbury/Clinton Township sent the above picture. She writes it is of "JCP&L employees diligently guarding their downed power lines that have been across our road since Saturday afternoon. It seems that it was a very important job as there were two people assigned to do this." (courtesy listener Penny Carlson)

As damage clean-up continues from this weekend’s brutal storm, New Jerseyans are wondering when their lights will be back on.

Speaking with Jim Gearhart, JCP&L Spokesman Ron Morano gave the latest information on outages and repairs.

About 180,000 residents total in New Jersey remain in the dark as of Wednesday morning, with about 130,000 of those being customers of JCP&L. Morano says that nearly 66% of electricity to their affected customers has been restored. He has targeted 95% of power to be back on by midnight Thursday, with the remainder by Friday.

The company was prepared to deal with this storm in advance.

“We started mobilizing crews from Ohio this way,” Morano said, “so they were at the start of the storm.”

“What you cannot be prepared for out there is the overwhelming degree of tree damage that’s out there.”

Morano adds that over 500 crews from all over the country have descended onto the Garden State to help with the clean-up efforts. The number one priority during these repairs is to take care of emergency situations, followed by helping re-connect the largest areas of power out from substations.

“That substation becomes our priority,” Morano explained.

There have been an estimated 5000 areas of downed trees and wires, in addition to 22 substation outages.

In an effort to improve service after coming under fire during Hurricane Irene, Morano says that communication has been constant between daily conference calls and even tweeting.

“We’re doing a number of things to communicate in different ways during this storm.”

In a press release sent to New Jersey 101.5 News, PSE&G says they currently have about 50,000 customers in the dark, with 91% of impacted customers restored.

Listen to Jim Gearhart’s interview with Ron Morano: 

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