February 25, 2017
Thunderstorms and strong winds left thousands of utility customers without power and caused damage around New Jersey Saturday night.
In Sussex County, Jersey Central Power & Light reported 4,873 customers were without electricity as of around 7:30 p.m. The majority of the outages were in Stillwater Township, Vernon, Wantage and Hampton, according to the utility company's website.
Scott Takac, a Jersey Central Power & Light spokesman, said crews were working to restore service but there was no immediate estimate available on when repairs would be completed.
"We'll have crews working until power is restored," the spokesman said Saturday night. He asked anyone who encounters downed wires to call the company at 1-888-544-4877.
Outages were largely caused by tree limbs hitting wires, he added. There were no immediate reports of damage to the electricity company's substations.
The JCP&L website also reported 2,188 customers without service in Warren County. PSE&G's outage map showed scattered outages in its service area.
Trees were downed across the state as winds and rain moved through the region, according to officials.
At least one structure at Space Farms Zoo and Museum in Sussex appeared to have major damage from the storm, according to photos shared on Twitter.
Jill Space, who runs the family business, said in a Twitter post that all animals were safe at the facility.
"...all animals are fine. We will start the clean up tomorrow," Space said via Twitter.
The National Weather Service reported a tree down on Route 94 in Frelinghuysen Township in Warren County at 4:55 p.m. and trees down in the city of Salem in Salem County about 4:55 p.m.
Forecasters also reported a storm gust of 55 mph in Blairstown in Warren County at 4:54 pm, a storm gust of 58 mph in Wantage in Sussex County at 5:14 p.m. and a storm gust of 60 mph in Turnersville in Gloucester County at 5:20 p.m.