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Village Releases Update on Power Restoration

South Orange residents are on Day 10 without power

PSE&G and Power Restoration Update

The Village understands the incredible frustration felt by each of you still awaiting the restoration of your power. Village officials have been in constant contact with PSE&G, many times a day, to receive updates and progress reports, to report continuing outages or outages that have erroneously been reported as restored, and to strongly advocate for our residents and restore our power as soon as possible. 

Despite those efforts, every local government is ultimately still entirely dependent on PSE&G both as to repairs and restorations, as well as for information, as many of our neighbors facing similar challenges are. We have enlisted the support of our elected State Representatives, Assemblywoman Jasey and Assemblyman McKeon, as well as Senator Codey, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Assemblyman Chivukula (Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Chair) and the Office of the Governor. Village officials have been in daily communication with these offices, and local officials in other towns with similar frustrations, who continue to advocate on our behalf. Wednesday morning the Village President met with Essex County mayors and state representatives and strongly voiced the complete frustration with what the Village views as totally unsatisfactory communication practices throughout this storm.  These concerns were expressed directly to Ralph Izzo, CEO of PSE&G, in addition to the PSE&G government affairs representatives present. We are committed to pursuing these grievances with the Board of Public Utilities, which regulates PSE&G, through legislative channels as well as the Office of the Governor, to compel improvements to PSE&G's responsiveness and transparency.

In an effort to provide as much information as possible to our residents, we continue to publicize the PSE&G reports and restoration estimates and numbers to the community. However, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of these numbers and indeed have found many of them to be inaccurate or not up to date. As of Wednesday morning, the Village has been assured by PSE&G, which is confirmed as accurate, that individual line restorations have begun in South Orange and are told that restorations will be complete by Friday, though the Village cannot guarantee the accuracy of that timeline. We appreciate and ask for your continued feedback as to outages so we can hold PSE&G accountable for the restorations they report to us. Like you, we - and many other municipal officials we have been in contact with - are frustrated by what appears to be constantly moving targets and changing and inconsistent reports from PSE&G about restoration timelines and, as mentioned, we are taking all available action to hold PSE&G accountable and get power to SO residents as soon as possible. We will continue to post any updates and information received from PSE&G online here.

We appreciate all of your patience and the great spirit of community demonstrated in South Orange with neighbors helping neighbors, and will continue to advocate and fight for our residents until we feel our - and our neighbors in other municipalities - concerns are heard and action taken by PSE&G and the State of New Jersey to ensure this does not happen again.

Ensure you report your outage directly to PSE&G, and you can send any additional information toemergencymanagement@southorange.org

Liz F November 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Thank you for the update. It's nice to hear that someone is at least paying attention to South Orange, while it seems PSE&G has decided to forsake us. Hopefully the Friday timeline is accurate.
stephanie November 07, 2012 at 09:46 PM
This is great news! if it were true... I find it very hard to believe that everyone will be restored by Friday. PSEG's work plan says that by end of day friday, there will still be over 900 houses in SO without power. They told you last week that it would be done by yesterday, and here we are and we have no power. Its great that you are advocating for us, we appreciate it, but, if nothing gets done, its worthless. We see trucks, the crew members keep telling us different answers, but most say 4-5 more days. That is not Friday. Not to mention Friday is completely unacceptable. Its great that we are reporting this all to agencies, but what does this mean for me? i'm still in the dark, I'm freezing, and I need my life to get back to normal. And did you discuss what's going to happen with this new storm? Tons of New Jersey residents will be without power again, so does this put us at the bottom of the list, again? PSEG keeps saying that they fix the masses first, so guess this means so.
Walter Zweifler November 07, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Isn't time for the state and Federal governments to take control?
Just Completely Upset November 07, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Just as I, as a resident if South Orange, New Jersey am being ignored along with my fellow community members (with repeated request as to when our electricity will be restored), I’m just waiting for when our Town's Elected Officials terms expired. You’re not going to get my Vote! None of you! This is ridiculous!, especially when my community's situation is not even half that bad as the Jersey shore line. We know where the main line of electricity that serves our community is out, but continue to look at the tree that brought it down everyday since last Monday night!. All this is is a game of Politics as far as I’m concern! I’m not a Politician, but I know they need my vote when it comes time for re-election. So since the people in my community and I have no power, we’ll just have to show you the power we do have (at Election time!).
Paul Foster November 07, 2012 at 11:39 PM
It's purely a matter of priority... PSEG got great kudos for restoring towns where no one can live, and but South Orange.. Have no one cares about us... We have annoying wires to fix... Maybe our elected (at least for now) should address if that is the issue, and what can be done so that we don't gonthriugh the same frustration as we now have 3times since August 2011.
Paul Foster November 07, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Sorry that I am feeling homeless and have to write from my phone, which adds and makes up words on my own, but I hope you get my point!
Carlos Ulises Decena November 08, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I wish I had been able to vote for SO government yesterday. Nobody learned anything from the premature winter storm last year, and I guess they'll fix this whenever its gets fixed and then there will be no preparedness for the next one, because now I know "updates," as opposed to results, is all I am going to get. What a disappointment, especially because the issue in this town is power, not the calamities that have happened to other towns. Can't even imagine what chaos we would be dealing with if massive numbers of people had lost their homes or their lives. The issue here is not for the elected officials to restore power, though it'd be nice if they were effective advocates with PSE&G for our town, so at least we are not misinformed or lied to. I had to call PSE&G TWICE to tell them that they had incorrect information in my account: no, power has not been restored and yes, I have reported this from the first of these almost 10 days now. The real calamity is that all that is being done is reactive and not proactive and that there is no imagination or vision about what this town needs to do for its residents in times of crisis. There is no preparedness. There is no planning. I seriously hope other towns in the state have more imaginative leadership, especially in times like this.
T Sturtz November 08, 2012 at 03:50 AM
If the politicians that our town government are talking with have so little clout it qwould seem there are steps that could still be taken to place pressure on PSE&G. 1. Talk to their regulator 2. Alert the press, print and television. Why don't our officials go to the press and tell them that the robots on the phone at PSE&G keep telling us later dates, now Friday, while the schedule on their site indicates that by Saturday there will still be hundreds without power, if we can even believe that. There is so much on the news about how heroic everyone has been. Why not let them hear about the shamelessness, ineptitude and utter dishonesty of PSE&G. GO TO THE PRESS AND SHINE A LIGHT ON THEIR LIES.
T Sturtz November 08, 2012 at 03:58 AM
ALSO, while I am convinced that our town representatives have done everything they can think of to have our power restored, and this admirable and appreciated, one votes for those who get results, not those who try very hard to get rsults and fail. It seems that our town government while dedicated and sharing our frustration has neither been able to establish the credibility or utilize a measure of creativity that yields results,
Susan Rinaldi November 08, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Is anyone aware that you are alive and have a home ? We are all being inconvienced and it is hard and very depressing but in a couple of weeks it will be Thanksgiving and think what you will have to thankful for when you pray for those who lost so much
Paul Fox November 08, 2012 at 02:27 PM
In the last 10 days my neighbors and I have called in to PSE&G, and the automated system reports that hour power has been restored. When I speak to a customer rep the only explanation is that power in the surrounding area must have been restored, and they need people like me to call in to report that we are out. I have done so 6 times in the last 10 days. PSE&G is misreporting restorations to officials. More disturbingly -- each time we call they don't seem to be aware that our entire neighborhood is still in the dark.
Michael Forster November 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM
T Sturtz is *completely* correct. Our elected officials need to go directly to the media not the talking shops of regulators and other local politicians, where they are being 'handled' by PSE&G's media consultants. They also need to be keeping track on PSE&G at the level of detail that other municipalities are doing this - take a look at Patch for Princeton for example. This would generate concrete evidence of where problems are, what is being promised, and what results are being delivered or (more likely) not delivered by which dates. This in turn becomes a compelling media story, which WILL generate the impetus for PSE&G to take action. 10 days in the dark and cold of winter is a disgrace bordering on criminal negligence, and we need elected officials to fight to resolve this in manner that is open, transparent, and gets results. The first two are no use without the third.
Merle Benny November 08, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Really? Alex Torpey has communicated constantly with residents. Do you want him to climb poles? PSE&G is responsible and Alex (and others, higher up, whom he has reached out to) are putting pressure on. I am happy to say that the crews from Florida Power & Light and PSE&G that came here and restored our power were hardworking, considerate people with only one goal in mind: to restore power. Well, maybe a second goal was to get back to Florida before the snow came.
ken majmudar November 08, 2012 at 04:21 PM
South Orange Is way behind almost every other town. Only 89000 people now without power. South Orange is over 3000. more than 3% of the total number. PSEG obviously put inadequate resources in south orange and continues to do so. People will be held responsible. 10 days now without power and counting.
stephanie November 08, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Merle Benny, the problem is not the people who are restoring power, they are hardworking no doubt. It is the mismanagement of PSEG and lack of leadership in our town to get the job done. I do feel blessed to have my house and glad that the worst i have to deal with is loss of power, but when the rest of NJ seems to have their power back and we will have over 40% of our town without 11 days after the storm, it seems completely infuriating. You seem to have your power back, so this is not a problem for you. I don't know when you got it back, but the fact is you have it and I don't. I cannot take the worthless updates we get. i need real answers, a real date of restoration, and some accountability. I'm not saying Alex Torpey and his associates are not fighting for us, but if they are just fighting and get no results, it means nothing to me and where my taxpayer dollars go. Why is South orange placed on the bottom of the priority list? Why does PSEG overpromise and underdeliver? Officials keep saying they will hold PSEG accountable, but how? Why is this the 3rd storm in 16 months and nothings changed? In any other business world, if a company does not provide a service they would be out of business. But we are powerless (no pun intended) to do anything. I will continue to have to pay a company for a service they don't provide. That's the problem.
ken majmudar November 09, 2012 at 04:17 AM
power came back a few hours ago in the area west of ridgewood road including north wyoming and newstead. Thanks to the utility linemen from all over the country. I believe we in south orange need a detailed post mortem study to see why it took 10 days and why we were in the last 5% to be restored and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat in the future
David Jones November 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM
"I cannot take the worthless updates we get" Ditto. It gets real old real fast when each and every "update" and "restoration plan" gets blown out of the water the next day. For the last 3 days I have called PSEG to tell them that our block and surrounding area don't have power, even though the automated system seems to think that we've been restored.
David Jones November 09, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The new daily PSE&G workplan is out, it shows that they plan on reducing the number of outages in South Orange from 2078 to 1870 today. Of course, yesterdays workplan showed a planned reduction from 2092 to 1129. So instead of a reduction of 963, they had a reduction of . . . 14. And I'm supposed to believe today's plan why, exactly?
T Sturtz November 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Actually, I got my power back only yesterday. But appreciate your post and all the others in response to mine.

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