The lights were back on at tens of thousands of homes, businesses and for other customers that had lost power early Friday, but two of the state’s major utilities said they were prepared in the event of additional outages Friday night.
By around 4 p.m., the number of customers affected by a succession of outages in northern and central New Jersey had dwindled to about 14,000 combined between JCP&L and PSEG.
By noon, PSE&G said it had restored power to 35,000 customers though the morning, and about 10,000 remain without power. The company’s power outage map was also not updating correctly, a spokeswoman said.
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That’s down from a peak of about 60,000 total without power Friday morning, customers that included homes, several public schools and large commercial customers like the Menlo Park Mall.
Most of the affected JCP&L customers were expected to have power restored by around 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to the company’s website, although about 1,000 without power in Byram are not expected to get power back until about 11:30 p.m.
Power for the 7,000 affected PSEG customers, scattered across Bergen, Essex, Mercer, Union and Middlesex counties, was not expected to be restored until later Friday or early Saturday, according to the company’s web site.
A spokesperson for PSEG blamed the disruption on the effect Friday’s weather had on equipment.
“The cause of the outages is rain and condensation, mixing with an abundance of residual salt on roadways. This caustic mixture damages electric equipment,” the spokesperson said.
Both the PSEG spokesperson as well as a spokesman for JCP&L said crews were on standby to respond to any additional outages Friday night.