High winds could delay Opheila power restoration efforts in NJ
⚡ The number of power outages was relatively low Saturday morning
⚡ Coastal flooding and continued gusty winds could help create more
⚡ Gusty winds could delay restoration in the Wildwoods
There's good news and bad news when it comes to power outages during Tropical Storm Opheila.
The number of Atlantic City Electric, JCP&L and PSE&G customers afftected by outages was around 5,000 during Saturday morning. Outages in Point Pleasant and Toms River in Ocean County and another in Roxbury Township only lasted a short time.
The bad news is that it could take until Saturday evening or Sunday morning until some ACE customers are restored, especially in the Wildwoods.
"We are seeing impacts from the high winds from Tropical Storm Ophelia. 60 miles an hour plus already at the shore and in the barrier islands, including the area in the Wildwood," ACE spokesman Ben Armstrong told New Jersey 101.5 "That's why you're seeing some of these outages extending into later Saturday, possibly into Sunday, depending on the the current end and future impacts."
As of 9 p.m. nearly 3,013 customers were without power throughout the state:
- Atlantic City Electric: 1,861 scattered throughout its service area
- JCP&L: 893 mostly in Ocean County
- PSE&G: 259 mostly in Essex County
- Orange & Rockland: Nothing significant to report
High tide could delay restoration
One of the potential impacts could come from the high tide early Saturday afternoon and possible flooding which could cause crews to deenergize equipment.
New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said that the National Weather Service reports "water has started to stack up, especially in the back bays" which is not a good sign about possible flooding.
"Significant water rise is possible today, due to the strong on-shore winds causing 1 to 3 feet of storm surge," Zarrow said.
High winds hamper restoration efforts
Armstrong said ACE was well prepared for the storm with its own crews and contractors working to safely restore power. Gusty winds, however, could cause a delay.
"If we do see these potentially 40 mile an hour sustained winds that is going to prevent us from putting up buckets and being able to safely get to this aerial equipment. So that could delay and lengthen some of these outages that we're seeing," Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the Wildwood outages are not related to the cause of the problems that caused sections of the city to lose power on three occasions.
"The equipment is continuing to power the Wildwoods area and it is not impacted right now by this situation," Armstrong said.