Local towns hard hit by outages after storm

Sussex. Restoration of power is still many days away for hard-hit towns of Sussex, Wantage, Stanhope, Byram, and Sparta. Jersey Central Power & Light is offering free water and ice for those experiencing outages of more than 24 hours.

Sparta /
06 Aug 2020 | 03:47

Just about every household in Sussex and Wantage lost power when Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the area on Tuesday -- with the estimated restoration time still many days away. According to Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), restoration is expected by Tuesday, Aug. 11.

According to Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), 98 percent of households in Sussex Borough and 93 percent in Wantage Township lost power. However, some residents posting on social media were already reporting on Thursday that their power had returned, including on Center Street, Harrison Street, and East Main Street. JCP&L posted Thursday afternoon that 79 percent were still experiencing outages. Progress is also being made in Wantage.

A charging station has been set up at Wantage town hall, 888 NJ Route 23, until 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Residents must remain in their cars as their phones are charging, according to the township’s Facebook page.

In Stanhope, 42 percent of households were without power on Thursday, with power expected to be restored on Aug. 11.

Much of Byram Township has also been affected, with 39 percent of customers without power on Thursday. At one point, 78 percent of the township was without power, according to Byram officials.

“As a reminder always consider any downed power lines as live. Never touch them, or any tree that may be laying on lines,” township officials warn. “This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injury or death. If you have a tree laying on wires, please report it to the police department at 973-347-4008. If you witness any sort of life-threatening issue or see that electrical wires or a tree is on fire, please immediately call 911.”

In Sparta, 27 percent of households were without power on Thursday.

Free water and ice

For customers without power for 24 hours or more, JCP&L is offering free water and ice at the following locations in Sussex County:

● ACME Vernon, 530 Route 515, Vernon

● ACME Sussex, 455 Route 23 North, Byram, Sussex

● Shop Rite – Ronetco, 90-80 Route 206 North, Byram

● Shop Rite – Ronetco, 270 Route 23 North, Franklin

● Shop Rite – Ronetco, 125 Water St., Newton

Be careful with generators

Local officials are also warning about the hazards of carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that can kill without warning. For this reason, generators should never be operated indoors. Their exhaust outlets should always directed away from open doors and windows.

Power outages and downed power lines may be reported in the following ways: call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), by clicking the “Report Outage” link on firstenergycorp.com, or by texting out to 544487.

JCP&L urges using extra caution in areas where downed lines are tangled with trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.