1st-ave-rumson-083011A downed tree and electrical lines had First Street in Rumson blocked off 48 hours after the storm. Below, a sign on the locked doors of Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury. (Click to enlarge)


trader-joes-0830111Electrical power was restored at Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre’s home late Monday night, about 12 hours after he bought a mobile generator.

But he’s still still in the dark about when the lights will be on in the parts of his town that still don’t have power, he said.

Progress that had been made over the last two years in repairing strained relations between the town and First Energy subsidiary Jersey Central Power & Light “seems to have been completely undone,” as the utility company has failed to keep officials informed about efforts to restore power in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Halfacre said.

“I have found it incredibly frustrating dealing with JCP&L,” Halfacre tells redbankgreen. “There’s been a complete lack of substantive information.”

jcpl-ls-083011A JCP&L crew member told redbankgreen he would not raise his bucket, at the corner of Kings Road and Seven Bridges Road in Little Silver, until we put our camera away. (Click to enlarge)

Even calling special phone numbers set up for municipal officials looking for updates yields nothing but recorded messages and unanswered calls, he said.

[Update: redbankgreen received the following notice from Fair Haven’s alert system at 1:23 p.m.:

Borough representatives have been in contact with JCP&L on an ongoing basis; please be advised that crews are working around the clock to restore the power outages. However, if you are still without power, you should be aware that the majority of power is expected to be restored by the weekend with full restoration early next week. Should you still have a downed wire in your immediate area, you must assume that all wires are carrying electricity and you are reminded to keep children and pets away from downed wires.

JCP&L has informed us that their customer call centers are fully staffed and available to take calls at 1-888-544-4877. If your service has not been restored, please contact the call center, as this is the fastest way to begin the restoration process.

Water and ice are available to all JCP&L customers without power. Residents can pick up water and ice free of charge at Acme Supermarket, 576 River Road in Fair Haven. Customers should go to the courtesy desk and report that they are a JCP&L customer out of power.

To file a claim for losses due to the power outage, please contact JCP&L’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-662-3115.

You should also be aware that JCP&L tree contractors never ask customers for money to clear downed trees and branches as part of the storm restoration process. There have been reports of individuals posing as JCP&L contractors seeking to remove trees on private property, pocketing money and leaving. Customers are asked to remain vigilant and refuse to pay anyone who claims to be clearing trees on behalf of JCP&L.

JCP&L’s online outage map indicates the following numbers of customers without power in area towns as of 12:45 p.m. Tuesday:

Fair Haven: 76

Little Silver: 932

Middletown: 6,080, though it’s not clear if that includes the out in the Lincroft section, 131 in Navesink, 380 in New Monmouth and so on.

Red Bank: 3,386

Rumson: 1,102

Sea Bright: 48

Shrewsbury: 705

Tinton Falls: 1,933

In Rumson, First Street resident Alan Schleeper tells redbankgreen he and other residents are taking the outage in stride, keeping freezers and refrigerators running with generators.

Likewise,Daphne Van Nest, of Little Silver Point Road in Little Silver, said a “gas guzzling generator” is keeping her food cool and lights on. “I think we’re coping well,” she said. “We’re not the only ones in this. Stuff happens.”

We received this email from the Little Silver police at 12:38 p.m.:

A JCP&L crew is currently in Little Silver restoring power to Oceanport Ave and in the area of Silverside Ave. Power will be restored to these areas within the next 15 minutes. They do not have any estimates to the remaining areas in town at this time. As soon as that information becomes available an update will be put out.

In Shrewsbury, we found a portable traffic light set up in the middle of the intersection of Broad Street (Route 35) and Abbey Drive, which serves as an entry to the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library and the shopping center that is home to a Trader Joe’s, a Staples and other stores – all of which were closed.

[UPDATE: This arrived from the Red Bank alert system at 2:39 p.m.:]

JCP&L is working to restore power to customers throughout out area. Customers without power can pick up free ice and/or water from several area supermarkets including most Foodtown and Acme stores in our area. A full list of participating stores can be found on our Borough’s website.

The Company is also warning customers that JCP&L tree contractors NEVER ask customers for money to clear trees or branches. They urge customers to remain vigilant and refuse to pay anyone who claims to be clearing trees for the Company.

The following resources have been attached to this message. Use the links below to access them.