PARSIPPANY, NJ—The township’s mayor and two council members joined with other officials in Morris County to demand JCP&L make improvements in the wake of last week’s storm, which left many in Parsippany without power for nearly a week. The statement also called on the state to make sure the improvements happen.
“The impact of losing power for such a prolonged period is unacceptable and action needs to be taken to protect our homes and businesses from future outages,” said the statement.
Mayor Michael Soriano and Councilwomen Janice McCarthy and Emily Peterson were among more than two dozen elected leaders who also called for JCP&L to reimburse customers for food and medicine lost because of the blackout.
“We demand that JCP&L improve their processes and make tangible, necessary improvements,” said the statement. “We ask the Board of Public Utilities to mandate improvements and restitution.”
JCP&L representatives said the company does not reimburse for lost food, medicine, or other perishables lost, but suggested customers contact their insurance company.
The Morris officials statement also demanded that the power provider install smart reset devices and utility poles, weather-proof substations, improve the process of bringing in out-of-state workers to help, and provide better communication to customers. The letter called on the state BPU to ensure these changes are made, but JCP&L said the infrastructure improvements are already happening.
“Our Reliability Plus Program will provide enhancements…with an additional $97 million in targeted investments aimed at addressing tree damage to the distribution system caused by severe weather,” said Cliff Cole, JCP&L spokesman. “JCP&L brought in workers from out of state before the storm, and we deployed more than 8,000 workers around the clock to restore power.
The officials said the blackout was not only inconvenient, but dangerous, and erodes trust in the reliability of the company’s service.
“Without major improvements to our electrical infrastructure,” the statement said, “and support for those who suffer losses during prolonged outages, public confidence in the utility system will continue to wane.”