Ten days after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to over 80% of Mahwah residents, Orange & Rockland said only a small percentage in the township remain without power.
Wednesday night, O&R told Patch 673 customers in Mahwah were still without power. By Friday morning, that number dropped to 119.
Thursday morning, the utility issued a release saying “almost all of its customers who lost electric service as a result of the hurricane,” would have it restored by Saturday night. “Extensive repairs will continue to restore those customers who remain out of service after Saturday. In a large-scale electric service restoration, scattered isolated areas where devastating damage has occurred are the most difficult to resolve, and as a result are among the last to return to service,” the release said.
The outages in Mahwah are among 2,300 remaining in O&R’s customer base in Bergen County. System-wide, the utility reported 7,300 customers still out, of 250,000 who lost power after the storm.
Those still without power are likely areas where a lot of restoration work will only restore power to a small number of residents, O&R representative Mike Donovan told Patch Wednesday night.
“Our priorities are [determined by] how quickly we can fix the problem, and how many customers are affected,” Donovan said.
“Right after the storm, you’ll have a crew do eight hours of work and restore power to 2,000 people. Now, we have crews doing eight hours for 200 customers,” Donovan explained. “By the end, it’ll be eight hours of work for 20 customers. That’s how big storms work.”
During Wednesday’s about 1,200 more O&R customers lost power. However, Donovan said a majority of the utility’s crews will remain on Sandy detail.
“The vast majority of our crews are remaining dedicated to restoring Hurricane Sandy outages,” Donovan said. Customers out since the storm, “have been out a long time, so they are our priority,” he said. A small portion of the thousands of local and contracted crews working on Sandy repairs were redirected to be emergency crews for the nor’easter.