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Parsippany Mayor Calls For Reimbursement, Improvements

Patch logo Patch 8/11/2020 Carl Stoffers
a brown bear walking through a forest: A tree lays over downed wires in Parsippany on Thursday © Carl Stoffers A tree lays over downed wires in Parsippany on Thursday

PARSIPPANY, NJ—Mayor Michael Soriano on Tuesday said Jersey Central Power & Light and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities need to work together to compensate customers in the town, which still reported 17 outages nearly a week after Isaias.

"I have heard from hundreds of residents over the last week who are justifiably angry with JCP&L's response," the mayor said in a letter to JCP&L CEO Charles Jones and BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso. "Now that the power is fully restored, further action on your part is needed."

Soriano called on the utility company to reimburse any customers who lost power for 48 hours or more for the cost of food, medication, and other perishables. He said the BPU should make this process a requirement for future outages.

"I am in lockstep with supporters of this idea," the mayor's letter said, "and I am joining this call to action."

JCP&L representatives responded to Soriano's suggestions in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, we do not reimburse for food lost or expenses incurred during a weather-related power outage," the company said. "We suggest inquiring with your insurance company to determine if your policy covers such losses."

Soriano, who is an electrician by trade, also included several suggestions for improving the town's power grid. In response, a JCP&L spokesman referenced the $97 million the company allocated to "addressing tree damage to the distribution system caused by severe weather events and reducing the frequency and duration of power outages." According to the utility, those improvements will be done by the end of the year.

"All of these ideas...will require an investment on the part of JCP&L," the mayor's letter said. "Given the extensive damage done by what was a relatively quick storm, these investments are necessary."

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