JCP&L Helicopter Inspections

From JCP&L: “Please be advised that on approximately April 14th weather permitting, Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will be performing a comprehensive visual inspection (CVI) patrol on the T5020 (Smithburg-Deans) 500kV line and will be performing Routine Patrols on all 230kV and 115kV transmission lines. CBH will be patrolling JCP&L territory full-time until the inspections are completed – inspections will take approximately two weeks for completion.
A Comprehensive Visual Inspection (CVI) is a slow, structure by structure, span by span inspection in which the crew is getting a detailed look at the structure, conductor, and all associated hardware. The helicopter will be seen moving very slowly along the lines and at times may be seen hovering during the inspection getting a closer look at the transmission line, structure(s), and hardware.
A routine patrol/inspection is a general, overall look at the transmission line and associated hardware. The helicopter will be traveling at speeds of 25-30mph and may at times hover over top of structures and/or spans of conductor to get a better look at any problems/issues found during patrols.
It should be noted that the contractor has been authorized to patrol the transmission circuits in their entirety (i.e. “breaker-to-breaker”), so patrols on certain lines may therefore extend into the neighboring regions. The flight crew provides information on their daily location to both Transmission Lines Maintenance and the FCC, and the pilot will be in communication with any local airports when in their airspace. Please advise local Safety Forces and other public entities or sensitive customers as needed.”

BPU Schedules Hearings on Storm Response

The New Jersey State Board of Public Utilities has scheduled the first two of five public hearings as part of BPU staff’s investigation into the response of the state’s four electric companies to the most recent storms.

The first hearing will be held on Thursday, April 5 from 4-7 p.m. at the Byram Intermediate School located at12 Mansfield Drive, in Byram Township, Sussex County. The second hearing will take place on Thursday April 12 from 4-7 p.m. at Parsippany Town Hall 1001 Parsippany Blvd., Parsippany, Morris County.

We do not yet know the dates and locations of additional meetings.

Click here to read the press release.

Storm Recovery Update – March 4th

Good afternoon,
These past few days have been challenging for all of us as Winter Storm Riley blew through Morris County with a vengeance and toppled trees and power lines in so many communities. The Mayors of Chester Borough and Chester Township were part of a conference call between JCP&L and area mayors this afternoon. This newsletter summarizes that call and provides other local information that might be helpful to residents.

JCP&L has dispatched crews to our area to work on restoring safety from downed power lines and then restoring power to homes and businesses.

This storm was a multi-state event and it has necessitated the enlistment of out-of-state crews for extra assistance. Protocol dictates that they focus on main arteries first, and on securing public safety along roadways.
Restoration has three categories: critical facilities, road openings, then largest to smallest neighborhoods or areas, followed by individual homes. Schools fall into the critical facilities, although many places are like Chester in that there are many roads still closed with downed trees.
Initially, over 190,000 customers were without power in northern NJ, but that total has come down to less than 95,000 today.
JCP&L expects that the majority of customers in Northern NJ will be restored by 11:30pm on Tuesday, and some in harder hit areas by Wednesday. Some customers who need their service line reconnected from the street to their home could get service restored after that.
JCP&L’s automated system has received many complaints as it provided erroneous information.  It was the suggestion of several mayors to just stop the service.
There are 400 tree groups, 200 hazard responders and 316 linemen working.  An additional 330 linemen are due in today from mutual aid out-of-state resources, and an additional 120 tomorrow, bringing the total number of linemen to over 570.  These are the individuals who reconnect the power.  JCP&L continues to source additional assistance, but the storm cut a wide swath and many states are experiencing similar issues.
JCP&L is utilizing helicopters and drones to assess damage.
The online map showing outages is not the map JCP&L uses to allocate crews. They have an internal system which is more precise and tracks by ticket number assigned when the outage is reported. So don’t despair that nobody knows about your particular outage. If you’ve reported it, it’s on their radar.
Both Mayors have been in contact with their respective JCP&L contacts.  Due to the severity of this section of Morris County, there are two liaisons assigned.  Mayor Asdal and Mayor Hoven have different liaisons, both of whom are aware of the situation here in Chester.
As of today, we have had some restoration of power in Chester. There are a few areas that remain challenging, due to remaining live wires and downed trees. Most towns in Morris County were similarly impacted, some more, some less, so we are not alone in our discomfort or frustration.
Here is today’s road closure list:
Sincere thanks to the Chester Police and OEM for coordinating efforts towards increased safety and communication. Thanks to the Chester First Aid Squad and Volunteer Fire Company for responding to over 30 calls in these past few days. We are all grateful for their hard work.
Chester DPW staff has been working around the clock to remove debris from roads, including downed trees. Trees can only be removed after the live wires they brought down are rendered inactive.
Mailbox repairs in Chester Township are expected to begin on Tuesday. Borough residents need to call the Borough at 908-879-3660 ext. 2118 to report a damaged mailbox. Removal of debris that was placed roadside by the DPW and JCP&L will be ongoing.
We are pleased to see the outpouring of support residents have offered each other, whether it is to invite people over for meals, for charging, for use of showers, or to bring food and coffee to utility workers on the job. Please continue to check on neighbors in need; let’s keep the kindness flowing. If you have tried to contact a neighbor in town that you are concerned about, and have not been able to reach them, please call the police non-emergency number and request a ‘welfare check.’ The non-emergency number is (908) 879-5514.
JCP&L is providing free water and ice to residents who have lost power. Shop Rite of Chester is one of the distribution sites, as is Kings in Mendham. Stop by the Customer Service desk to find out how to redeem this offer.
Area businesses are largely open and ready for visitors. Please call ahead to confirm individual schedules. Nitroflex Fitness Gym is offering use of its showers to area residents. Local gas stations are open, Shop Rite is open, and area restaurants are open.
When this storm has passed and things get back to normal, the Mayors will arrange a public meeting with the JCP&L Municipal Liaison. We ask that residents compile a list of concerns and suggestions in preparation for that time, while they are fresh in your mind.

Every town is experiencing outages, some worse than ours, some not as bad.  JCP&L relies on assistance from mutual aid resources to restore power.  JCP&L is well aware of the public’s desire for accurate information and the fact that the public looks to the Mayors to provide information about their towns.  The Chester Mayors work together, along with our Chief of Police and OEMs to provide accurate and updated information as it becomes available.  We know that this does not translate into having power restored, but please know we are in contact and doing all that we can to provide you realistic information.

Reminder that the Barn at Highlands Ridge Park will be open from 11:00am-7:00pm today as a warming center and a place to charge electronics.
Finally, the Chester School District and the West Morris Regional HS District have announced that school will be closed this Monday, March 5th.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Mayor Marcia Asdal, Chester Township
Mayor Janet Hoven, Chester Borough

JCP&L update

March 4th – statement from JCP&L:

JCP&L has experienced extensive infrastructure damage within its transmission and distribution systems; in particular, within northern New Jersey, hundreds of downed trees, approximately 200 broken poles and 1,000 spans of conductor. JCP&L continues its efforts to restore service with public and employee safety at the forefront. Restoration efforts are focused on reducing hazards associated with downed power lines and road closures due to downed power lines.

Public safety is our top priority. JCP&L crews continue to focus on safely clearing downed wires, opening roads for emergency access and restoring service to our customers. Reminder to everyone—stay away from downed wires.

While we anticipate the majority of customers will be restored by late Tuesday night, the anticipated restoration time for customers in the hardest hit areas of northern Morris and Sussex counties is Wednesday, March 7th at 11:30pm. This information will be updated in the FirstEnergy 24/7 Power Center. Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we restore service to our customers.

Report a Power Outage 888-544-4877 (888-LIGHTSS)

24/7 Power Center:


Yesterday on the JCP&L elected officials update call, several mayors brought to our attention that their constituents were upset because they had received phone calls or text alerts with erroneous Estimated Times of Restoration (ETRs).  We regret this error and any inconvenience it may have caused.  The problem occurred due to a system error and it has been corrected.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Also, JCP&L will be performing helicopter patrols of our Northern New Jersey transmission lines on Sunday March 4th. Two helicopters will be utilized to facilitate the process. The helicopter information is below.

Company: Haverfield Aviation
Helicopter: N371EE
Description: Black with red tail numbers

Company: Haverfield Aviation
Helicopter N369D
Description: Black with red tail numbers

JCP&L reminds customers to immediately report any downed wires to the company, or their local police and fire department.  Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.  Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris.  To report downed wires or power outages, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or click the “Report Outage” link at


March 3rd– 5:00pm Update from JCP&L call with Mayors this afternoon:

​This was a difficult storm because​ heavy wet snow was preceded by 12 hours of rain, leading to saturated ground and then damaging high winds. These conditions resulted in many downed trees.

Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties were most heavily affected​.​ There are over ​460 road closures in ​these ​affected counties​.​

It is i​mportant for residents to​ report outages to JCP&L even if you think your neighbors have already done so, or if you think your information isn’t necessary; JCP&L bases their response on the number of customers affected.

1500 workers are being mobilized from other areas and are ​on their way. There are challenges getting crews to affected areas due to closed roads.

​JCP&L is w​orking through ​its ​protocol of priorities, which is safety first, then restoration.
  • 911 calls
  • critical facilities
  • ​r​oad openings
  • then outages

Cut and make safe crews are out now, repair crews will ​follow; priority today is safety.​

Shop Rite in Chester is a water/ice center.  Go to courtesy counter and receive voucher.

Residents should expect outages to last 2-3 days.

Chester Township and Borough residents should report outages and downed wires to JCP&L first, then report downed wires and dangerous conditions to Chester Police ​on its non-emergency line ​at 908-879-5514.

The Mayors have been in contact with Assemblyman Bucco, who is monitoring our storm recovery progress.

The Mayors have also been in frequent contact with our JCP&L area representative who gives us as much specific info as he possibly can.

More updates will be provided as available. We are grateful for your patience and cooperation as we work to recover from this storm.
Please continue to check on neighbors to help keep them informed and safe.
Thank you,
Mayor Marcia Asdal, Chester Township
Mayor Janet Hoven, Chester Borough


11:00am    JCP&L notified the Mayor that there are 136 outages in the Borough.  Realistically, residents should plan on being without power for at least a couple of days.  Crews are being dispatched to the area.  Updates will be provided as received.  Warming center is open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Highlands Ridge Barn on North Road.