Recovery from Ida — What you need to know on Friday
Utility crews are working nearly round the clock to restore power, more NJ Transit rail service has been restored and many local roads remain closed as the cleanup from the remnants of Ida continues across New Jersey.
The storm is responsible for dropping nearly 8-10 inches of rain across Central and North Jersey and three confirmed tornadoes, according to New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow. The storm is also responsible for 25 deaths.
There are still over 10,000 outages, according to the utility outage maps as of 9 a.m.
- JCP&L has nearly 8,000 customers without power mostly in Hunterdon (Lambertville) and Morris (Montville, Washington Township) counties and expects to have the majority of its customers restored by late Saturday night.
- PSE&G reports over 2,600 customers still out mostly in Essex County. The utility expects to have most customers restored by 11:30 p.m. Friday except for Morris and Passaic counties which will be restored by 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Gov. Phil Murphy said his office is pressing the utilities to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig told New Jersey 101.5 the two biggest obstacles to restoration is broken utility poles and high standing water.
"We've had over three dozen poles snapped during this event in the Warren and Sussex county areas. And in Hunterdon County the flooding is historic in terms of the flooding levels down there. For the safety of our crews they do not go into flood waters. We haven't even been able to assess the full extent of the damage," Hoenig said.
Hoenig said crews will move on to other restoration projects while waiting for the water to recede.
"You don't know how deep it is, you don't know what's in it," Hoenig said. "If there is a power line in standing water and it is energized, it's a very dangerous situation."
While JCP&L sent crews to the Gulf Coast to help with restoration when Ida came on shore as a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mile winds, a dozen crews from West Virginia are headed to New Jersey to assist.
“We continue to work as safely and quickly as possible to address the many challenging conditions caused by Tropical Storm Ida and we understand how difficult this situation is for everyone,” said PSE&G Jack Bridges, vice president of electric operations. “The safety of our employees and customers remains our highest priority and our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by this storm.”
Most NJ Transit Rail Service Resumes
Most of NJ Transit’s rail service has returned on a regular weekday schedule Friday after being suspended Thursday following the torrential rain from Tropical Depression Ida.
The Montclair Boonton, Gladstone Branch, Main/Bergen Line and Raritan Valley Lines remain suspended. Systemwide cross-honoring will be in effect.
Amtrak will resume service on the Northeast Corridor on Friday.
NJ Transit buses are running on regular weekday schedules on Friday but riders should expect "significant statewide delays and extensive detours" because of closed roads and high standing water.
State Offices Delayed Opening
State offices have a delayed opening on Friday of 10:30 a.m. including MVC offices.
The MVC said anyone whose appointment is canceled can bring notice of cancellation and return for service any time in the next week. The MVC's North Bergen Licensing Center will be closed Friday as repairs continue but is scheduled to reopen Saturday.
There’s still around a dozen local roads and some highways closed by flooding or repairs to damage resulting from the high water. The New Jersey Department of Transportation continues to make repairs to a sinkhole on Route 280 eastbound between exits 7 and 8.
Route 1 is still closed northbound between Mulberry Street and Route 295 and exit ramps on many highways remain closed due to flooding.
DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro told NJ.com that reopening could take days as debris must be cleared and roads evaluated for safety. He also said the Raritan, Delaware and Passaic Rivers have yet to crest which will affect when repair on some roads begin.