Over 40,000 customers with out power

9 12 2008

An outage has knocked out power to almost all of Monmouth County and parts of Ocean County, according to a spokesman for the utility company that serves the area.

In Ocean County, customers have lost service in parts of Lakewood, Toms River and Barnegat, according to the website for Jersey Central Power & Light, which shows a map of affected towns.

“Calls are coming in like crazy,” said Peter Johner, a spokesman for the utility.

An alert sent to Middletown residents by local authorities said the cause of the outage was a transmission line failure in Neptune.

So far, the outage has affected more than 10,000 customers and shut down traffic lights on major roads including Route 36, just in time for rush hour, authorities said.

Johner said JCP&L is trying to determine the cause of the problem.

Further details about when power might be restored were not immediately available.

Hazlet police encouraged drivers who would normally take Route 36 to use local roads and said additional officers have been dispatched to monitor traffic.

Russell Holstein, a Long Branch psychologist, said he told his evening patients not to come in after he lost power in his office tonight.

“I can’t work in the dark,” he said.

Holstein, who lives in West Allenhurst, said he plans to take local roads home, avoiding backups on major thoroughfares where traffic lights have been disabled.

“When you get to a traffic light, that’s where people get confused,” he said. “I’m going to be very careful. I know where the lights are, and I’ll be watching.”

Holstein said he vividly remembers an outage several years ago that left his family without power for days. Still, he said, his family has taken no special precautions to prepare for this type of event.

“I’m like most people,” he said. “We count on the electric company.” NJ.com, PCJN

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