How would you like to be that one family in West Long Branch who has been without power for a week?
West Long Branch appears to have fared pretty well from the storm. When I first started tracking JCP&L’s estimates for customers without power on Tuesday there was only 35 customers without power in West Long Branch. By Thursday evening West Long Branch was off the list, implying that power had been restored to the entire town.
On Friday one customer from West Long Branch was back on the list. Maybe that customer’s power had been restored and went out again. I’m guessing that it never went back on. That JCP&L missed them. There is still one West Long Branch customer on the list this morning.
That situation occurred to me. Not this time, during some other summer outage. I don’t remember which one, we’ve had at least one every summer, and one every other winter, since I moved to Highlands 10 years ago. The entire town was without power for, I don’t remember…too long. The town came back online and my house was still without power for a couple of days or three.
I was fortunate, which is probably why I don’t remember the details that well. My commercial building in Belford had power. We have a shower and a kitchen in the building. We didn’t have to impose on neighbors to shower or store food. I don’t know what the family in West Long Branch is going through, but I know it sucks to be the only one without power in your community for an extended period of time.
They or the one customer in Ocean Grove, Aberdeen, or Spring Lake Heights will probably be the last ones in Monmouth with the power turned on, as JCP&L finishes working on their “priorities” and then tracks back to the homes they missed the first time around. There are 8 zip codes with only one customer without power in Monmouth County. 22 zip codes with between 2 and 16 customers without power.
JCP&L sucks. Their infrastructure is aged and inadequate. They didn’t respond to Irene like it was an emergency. They responded like it was one of their “normal” annual power outages that was just bigger than usual. They lie to their customers. They lie to the mayors. They lie to county OEMs. They like to state OEM. They lie to BPU and they lie to the Govenor’s office. They lie to their own government affairs representives.
There was a joke floating around facebook that JCP&L got religion….they said they could not control acts of God. They didn’t get religion. Their preparation showed no fear of this act of God. In their response they did not act like their customers are His children.
I hope that JCP&L suffers the wrath Chris Christie.
While the situation we have suffered this week is a failure for JCP&L, it is also a failure of government.
For too many decades the Board of Public Utilities has been a bureau of cozy cronyism where senior political hacks or their spouses were sent as a reward for their “service.” It has been a piggy bank funded by ratepayers to fund experimental and inefficient wind and solar technologies and $80,000,000 off the books slush funds.
For decades BPU has looked the other way while JCP&L, a company owned by out of state utility conglomerates, “created efficiencies” by deferring maintenance and infrastructure upgrades. By reducing the number of New Jersey residents employed by the company.
Democratic hacks whined when Chris Christie appointed the prosecutor who ran his Trenton U.S. Attorney’s Office as BPU President over McGreevey- Corzine hack Jeanne Fox. Lee Solomon’s job in Christie’s cabinet got a whole lot more important this week.
Estimated Customers Out For
As of Sep 3, 2011 9:47 AM
Total Out = 2139
By the way, PSEG had only 300 customers without power in their entire service area as of 9PM last night.