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Monmouth County Officials Vent Frustations Over JCP&L

Summit held in Tinton Falls for discussion of utility company's service during and after Hurricane Sandy

Officials from Monmouth County towns gathered at Tinton Falls Borough Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss and critique Jersey Central Power and Light's (JCP&L) service and communication during Hurricane Sandy.

Most officials in attendance agreed that JCP&L did not effectively communicate with their towns during the hurricane and that many were left without the information they needed to get out to residents.

"It was absolutely poor execution by JCP&L," Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik said.

"A little anger and venting is exactly what JCP&L needs to hear," Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said.

The discussion was hosted by Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera and Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.

"The goal for today is not for this to become a gripe session," Fiore said. "We wanted to meet, get feedback and go through the proper channels to get this information out."

"This is a utility company that we do not control, so we want to think of what things we can do for the next time this happens," Skudera said.

Fiore outlined some ideas that he had come up with that he felt could improve JCP&L's communication with towns.

  • JCP&L's update calls with mayors should be regional and not statewide;
  • How outages are reported needs to be addressed;
  • A need for better communication between JCP&L and Verizon;
  • JCP&L needs a better understanding of each town's grid;
  • JCP&L needs to know which streets are a priority in town when outages are reported;
  • Towns needs to know what JCP&L's infrastructure improvements are.

The mayors and office of emergency management officials also met to have a round-table discussion about JCP&L, but that part of the meeting was not open to the public or media.

Holmdel Mayor Patrick Impreveduto said whatever decisions were made by the officials should be given to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

"We need to have them expedite what we are trying to do," Impreveduto said.

Freeholder Tom Arnone agreed and said JCP&L must show its capital plan with the county and municipalities.

"The JCP&L representatives we talked to had no answers for us," Arnone said.

Itchy Foot Moe November 20, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Just one problem with your condesending "fix". Most towns including mine wont touch any trees that are near/touching live wires on the curb line. JCP&L sends out a contracting crew to do these but not often enough. And it appears with the amount of damage we received this go around they werent even close to being prepared ahead of time in this department.
Peter Koenig November 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM
If I may - in my opinion, it is absolutely, completely JCP&L's fault. (1) JCP&L has a duty to trim trees that endanger its wires; (2) JCP&L chooses to string wires from wooden poles, using 19th century technology in the 21st century; (3) JCP&L chooses where to put its wooden poles - in proximity to trees; (4) municipalities, the county, homeowners, or anyone other than JCP&L can get into major trouble - or be electrocuted - for trimming trees in proximity to JCP&L wires. Our gas service is (of course) underground, and it has never failed in any storm over the past 25+ years. If JCP&L would place its wiring underground - at least major feeders - trees would be irrelevant. Then again, our above-ground tv cable and telephone wires weathered Sandy just fine, too. Perhaps JCP&L should have a nice chat with the cable tv and phone companies about dealing with tree limbs. If JCP&L wants me, a homeowner and customer, to maintain its infrastructure, then I expect to be paid for it. If JCP&L wants me to hire a contractor at their expense ...
MBM November 21, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Peter.....not sure where you live, but in my experience Cablevision's performance was worse than that of JCPL. I was without power for 11 days and without Cablevision services for 16 days. And it was only restored after 16 days because of help I was offered. I am in the process of switching to Verizon. As the widow of a JCPL lineman, I know how hard and in what conditions these people work. I also know that JCPL sends their employees to other regions when disasters strike in there. JCPL needs to get it's act together and update their system. But please don't blame the linemen. They risk their lives for us.
Scharfenberg November 23, 2012 at 09:48 AM
You are absolutely right. A lot of the problems causing the loss of power for so long was the trees. Although my family and I did not enjoy sitting in a 50 degree house for 10 days, we think JCP&L and outside power companies did a great job considering what they had to deal with in some areas.
Joseph March 24, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Joseph Hornick 22 hours ago . I have Zero Respect for the City of Long Branch! Once the Mayor & some officials are removed, the City will be a better place! But alot of damage has been done! So the better part of Long Branch will probably never come back. Wait for the Wave to hit Pier Village! And it won't be green! It will be the Payback for stealing land! Enjoy it while you can. The Time is near! And if the power should go out in Long Branch for a week again! You will know the Mayor won't be showering! The Mayor knew zero about JCP&L's lack of upgrades, that has been going on for many years before the Sandy storm. Only after the fact! The Mayor makes a big deal about JCP&L! The way I look at this is: If the Mayor showered & stayed clean! He may have been aware of JCP&L's many problems way before this Sandy Storm! Even if the shower was used! It still stinks! Like · · Promote · Share. Tony Bruno likes this..

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