JERSEY CITY – Gov. Chris Christie is having an afternoon conference call again today with power companies, but as of this morning 200,000 households were still without power from the unseasonal snow over the weekend. Outages are down from a peak of 750,000 homes on Saturday, he said.
“The best that we can do is to continue to be on these folks,” Christie said, but, “We all need to get real about how long this stuff takes.”
Again Jersey Central Power and Lighting (JCP&L) is below the acceptable level of restoration for Christie. “PSE&G once again seems to be doing significantly better than JCP&L,” he said. “I’ll be asking (JCP&L executive) Don Lynch about that at 2:30 when we have our conference call.”
Other problems include transformer fires from restored power in grids with downed trees and power lines. Christie said regarding calls for burying the power lines going forward –at an average of $1 million per mile – “Is it really worth the cost?”
The goal of 95 percent restoration by midnight on Wednesday is still attainable, so far as Christie knows. “If that changes…we’ll certainly let people know that.”
When a reporter asked about reported price gouging in Bergen County hotels, Christie said the Division of Consumer Affairs would handle the situation, if there was one.
“We dealt with this during Irene, more on the gas side,” Christie said, and investigators are answering incoming phone calls on the consumer protection hotline.