Power Restoration Target Pushed Back in Ridgewood
More than half of Ridgewood remains without power and many will not have heat until Wednesday, perhaps later.
There's a little good news and a lot of bad in Ridgewood on the power restoration front.
The good news is utility crews are on the roads and more than 1,000 customers saw power return on Sunday, according to PSE&G's updated work schedule. The bad news? Just about everything else.
As of 6 p.m. Sunday, 53.7 percent of the village's 10,255 customers were still bundling up with blankets, down from 66 percent the night before. Full restoration had been targeted for Saturday night.
But even if all goes well – and few maintain that hope as the days in the dark continue – full restoration now is unlikely to happen before Wednesday, at best.
About 1,000 customers are expected to be restored to the grid on Monday, with another 1,000 projected to follow on Tuesday. Under that scenario, around 2,000 customers would still be without power on Wednesday in Ridgewood. PSE&G is continuing to tell customers that Friday, Nov. 9 is the total restoration date.
PSE&G cautions that the figures listed on the work sheets are rough estimates and do not entail all of the work taking place on those dates. Localized damage can cause delays and priorities can shift.
Thousands bearing near-freezing temperatures have lost any confidence the company's ever-shifting target dates are realistic.
PSE&G also received a tongue-lashing from Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn. The mayor first criticized the utility in a widely-distributed message to residents for creating an "unfortunate" level of confusion with poor communication.
Then came the Mount Carmel situation.
The village's only continually operating shelter lost power late Sunday morning and did not see the power return until past 8 p.m. The outage, created by PSE&G to repair a circuit, was only expected to last an hour.
Food had to be tossed and those who had come to the church to keep warm were forced to retreat back into the cold. The shelter has since re-opened.
"It was wrong for PSEG to cut the power of Mount Carmel and many others without any advance notice and without any consideration for its impact," Aronsohn told Patch Sunday night. "I understand that such drastic measures are sometimes necessary, but this could've and should've been handled better."