Senator O’Scanlon discusses the storm and JCP&L’s response

By Senator Declan O’Scanlon

Senator Declan O’Scanlon

For those who didn’t lose power, or see the fury of Monday night’s storm, be thankful. Your lives went on like a normal summer day with a thunderstorm in the background.  For those who were in the micro-bursts…it was the scariest thing many have seen since Sandy..and more than many of us have ever seen. It lasted 20 minutes through the area…but left more immediate wind devastation than Sandy. Sandy spent hours piling water into our Bayshore and bays and oceanfront. This unnamed…moment…tore down trees and utility poles and the wires near, or attached to, them. And it was block-by-block, neighborhood by neighborhood.  Which made it even harder on those without power. Many neighbors had no inconvenience at all.  I can say now, it was a miracle no one was seriously injured or killed.  For those that didn’t see it, trust me, this isn’t hyperbole.

In the end over 200,000 people had no power. Trees were down. JCP&L on the scramble, tested again.  By Thursday night, all but just over 200 customers in Monmouth County had their power restored.

photo courtesy of JCP&L

I spent several hours on Tuesday in the JCPL command center in Holmdel – dealing with local officials pinpointing areas of most immediate concern . We met again on Thursday to begin the assessment process of the response to make things better next time.  There is plenty of room for improvement.  But there was also significant, almost dramatic improvement over the Sandy response. The local area liaisons were fully engaged and the corporate leaders of the company were in touch with me and local officials. Our local input was actively included in response priorities. My constituents weren’t irritants, we together were welcomed partners in response priorities. Big steps forward.
All that said, there’s a long way to go. More active communication between the company and individual customers through a a high quality app or some other creative online communication is way overdue. More timely and more granular estimated time-to-restoration projections must be possible, and must be delivered. We need a resiliency project and investment plan that demonstrates the company cares about quality, dependable service as much as it does profits.

photo courtesy of JCP&L

Today I was heartened to see that there is a sincere interest and effort on behalf of the company to invest in the network and implement the improvements we all need to see. I know people are frustrated, trust me, as exhausted as I am after this last few days, so am I. But I promise you, as the Senator from the area hit hardest by these two storms, I won’t relent until we get the communication and network resiliency improvements that we need, and that we deserve.
Senator Declan O’Scanlon represents the 13th legislative district, northern Monmouth County and the Two Rivers area, in the State Senate.

Posted: July 26th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, JCP&L, Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “Senator O’Scanlon discusses the storm and JCP&L’s response”

  1. Marky fedup said at 12:56 pm on July 27th, 2019:

    I can tell you from experience this company always waits for storm to pass before asking for help by that time all local contractors have been hired by surrounding power companies to help put people back in lights. JCP$l waits for Ohio lineman to get here how ever few of them come it is never enough to repair their antiquated distribution system poles are OLD and rotted including crossarms wiring is sized to power demands of the sixties and seventies. This is the real problem with JCP$L banking company they have a storm come thru apply damages to insurance and then ask to raise the rates to help pay for the damages and the BPU rubber stamps the approval. This needs to stop!!!!!

  2. Perhaps, said at 9:41 am on July 28th, 2019:

    but look at the angst and rigmarole that ensues every time any utility tries to upgrade or add a tower or stronger lines: we all want the best service, but” Not in My Backyard!”

  3. RB Zip said at 4:37 pm on July 29th, 2019:

    Perhaps: you should do your homework, before spouting off. Transmission and Distribution ARE NOT the same thing. We have a 2 TRANSMISSION outages in 10 years. But, our old, failing DISTRIBUTION plan is a totally different issue. JCP&L would be guaranteed a 10% rate of return on improving the transmission lines. But that is NOT WHERE we need improvements.

    Power Outages & the PATCH Article

    July 29, 2019 – JCP&L has been making misleading statements and, understandably, there seems to be some public misunderstanding of our electrical system.

    JCP&L will speak in general terms of how the Monmouth County Reliability Project (“MCRP”) will improve reliability and resiliency and robustness (an undefined term).

    However, a judge, after a 1 1/2 year of formal legal proceeding with expert testimonies and in a sharply worded decision, denied JCP&L’s petition for MCRP. That decision was unanimously adopted by the NJ Board of Public Utilities. What does that tell you?

    MCRP is a high power (230kV) transmission project (See “Blue” in the picture below). 99% of power outages comes from down local DISTRIBUTION lines (see “Green” in the picture below). These are two different systems.

    We already have a main 230kV transmission line and a backup transmission line to the main transmission line. Both were “up” during all recent storms – the one this week, the winter storms last year, Sandy and Irene – more than 99.99% of the time. MCRP is a 3rd transmission line, a backup to a backup.

    The power outages from the recent storm were primarily due to downed local distribution lines and even if the proposed high power transmission line (MCRP) was built or if 100 MCRP’s were built, it would not have made a difference to the residents that lost power

    It is really disappointing to see that JCP&L continues to issue misleading statements to the public. It is analogous to JCP&L saying we need to build another 4-lane highway when the problems are potholes in the local streets in our neighborhood.

    Ask JCP&L specifically whether the building of MCRP would have prevented the local power outages this week or help the many residents who were without power this week. Listen very carefully to their answer – what they say and what they don’t say.

    No photo description available.

  4. Name me said at 6:26 pm on July 29th, 2019:

    any upgrade or improvement that does not bring out citizens, accusing the utility of “damaging their property values” .. as a veteran of far too many long public meetings, I can tell you that facts do not always carry the day.. can’t wait til the county realizes we do finally need a high- tech, environmentally- appropriate incinerator, to handle the population increases of the county, and hence, the volume of garbage that must be processed: having watched the crazies defeat the last attempt,back in the ‘90’s, “ our children will die,” I can tell you, it is not easy dealing with all the volume and need,versus how to efficiently deliver, all required services..