UPDATE: A Marion Road resident advises neighbors to check with PSE&G to make sure they know your street is without power. After sitting in the darkness since Saturday, the resident called PSE&G today and learned that PSE&G’s grid says the street is fine. “The reality is their grid is wrong,” he said. “Most of us were assuming that PSE&G knew.”

PSE&G reports that 98,000 customers were still without power at 9 a.m. today. And some of them are getting cranky. A tipster sent this photo of an “Occupy PSE&G” sign on Montague Place in Montclair this morning.

Just last Thursday we were reporting that Montclair and PSE&G were in talks about the Gray Street imbroglio, in which PSE&G — upgrading service — chopped down mature trees without telling the town or residents. Now we’ve had Mother Nature flicking huge trees down like they were matchsticks, and knocking power out in the bargain — and many homeowners entering their fourth day of shivering in the dark.

Many Baristanet readers observed on Sunday that they hadn’t seen any PSE&G trucks and local printer Scott Kennedy went so far as to speculate that the utility might be punishing the town. “I wonder if the are trying to teach the Gray street folks and Montclair in general a lesson about interfering with their operations when it comes to cutting down trees and limbs that they feel threaten their lines,” he said in an email.

Councilor Cary Africk, who is still without power himself and has been camping out at the Residence Inn in West Orange, doesn’t think it’s personal. “I honestly don’t think so. I think it’s such a big task. Given the resources they have, I think they’re trying to do whatever they can.”

PSE&G says it has 237 crews and 212 tree crews working to restore power — with workers having come in from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Indiana. It says 83 percent of customers who lost power have had their electricity restored.

Nevertheless, Africk said much of Montclair east of Valley Road, between Bloomfield and Watchung, is without power.

So we ask you. Are you among the 17 percent?

[polldaddy poll=5631691]

23 replies on “Occupy PSE&G!”

  1. Well, I did see one utility truck last night, but no obvious activity at 6PM on a drive along Valley Road, south of Watchung, and through the Frog Hollow area, and Midland Avenue. Haven’t seen much in the way of town cleanup vehicles, either, but then, I didn’t get home from work until 5PM. I’d have guessed that there’d be at least a little bit of overtime work going on.

  2. I have not seen any PSE&G trucks in Montclair at all. Has anyone seen any power company trucks working here? So far I’ve just seen tree removal and cable co’s….

  3. I saw a PSEG truck at work on the north end of Upper Mountain late yesterday afternoon. There was a channel 2 news van filming them at work…

  4. I have a simple question. Why aren’t there ANY town tree crews anywhere to be seen? This is preposterous. I saw on the budget proposal tat they want to appropriate several hundred thousand $$ for garbage trucks. I suggest sporting for a couple of wood chippers and chainsaws instead. The town’s response to this storm is beyond incompetent.

  5. PSE&G did not show up on Sunday because they hate paying the overage in pay which is time and a half.
    This, from a very high source, a PSEG employee. They are in no hurry whatsoever on any weekend to fix anything.
    This company has one of the worst business models in existence. They have no real way to deal with any emergency, they outsource a lot of work, their communications through phone and internet is tired and outdated. Their rates are over the top high and they monopolize and mistreat their public.
    After all, what are the options, a gas generator?

  6. In my limited drive this AM, I saw two tree crews working on branches that were threatening to fall and/or on top of wires. One was on Grove, and the other was somewhere around Park, north of Claremont.

  7. I posted the names and phone numbers of the PSE&G board in another blog on the site. I have been reaching out to all our politicians about this debacle. PSE&G pays shareholders 173 million dollars a quarter in dividends. They don’t spend on the infrastructure. If everyone knew the real cost of natural gas and the profit they make this site would be on fire. Our only hope is for our elected officials to ban together and hit them where it hurts. Force PSE&G to suspend dividends.

  8. Huge swaths of upper mountain, highland and prospect are all out since saturday. It worries me that no one seems to be reporting on this. This area of town seems almost never mentioned when speaking of power outages. And please everyone, although the Montclair PD failed to mention the intersection of upper mountain and Bradford as an intersection without lights, it’s been out the whole time too. This is a dangerous intersection with a traffic light. Without, it’s extremely dangerous. A stop sign was put in the middle of the intersection the other day and within the hour it was run over and smashed to smithereens. Please everyone, take great care when traversing that intersection.

  9. Thank you, pac2. As a resident of Highland between Bradford and Windsor I can say that not only do we think we are ignored by town and reporting outlets… but we also get hit by power outages over and over again. This is the third multiple-day outage some residents of this area have seen since May. Not all outages have been caused by downed limbs… what can be done about re-thinking power delivery here? And, yes, exercise caution on Up Mnt and Bradford, as that intersection is dangerous under optimum conditions, but with no traffic light working since Saturday, it is extremely dangerous now.

  10. The utility repair crews are probably coming from out of state from the parent company. By the time they are called & contracted the pools will be open again.

  11. I passed a parked PSEG truck (large truck with basket) on Park St. near Bellevue Tuesday morning. The driver inside was reading a newspaper. I stopped my car and angrily approached the cab (that felt good) and despite being bigger than me, he momentarily looked panicked (think of the old Frankenstein film, with me holding a torch). He immediately put down the paper and explained he was a gas crew sent to “watch” a downed electrical line until the electrical crew showed up. I asked when the repair work was scheduled for, he said he “didn’t have a clue” and was just doing what his dispatcher told him. The driver was a nice guy, actually! Bottom line: one part of PSEG not “having a clue” what the other part is doing. And I drove around several major streets today (Park, Grove, Valley) and didn’t see any active repair work underway at the time. I hope I’m wrong, but I bet power isn’t fully restored in Montclair until Thursday-Friday at the earliest.

  12. @rickyboy What happens if we opt for some electricity source other than PSE&G? Since PSE&G still owns the delivery network, they still make money, yes? So does switching to a different provider hurt PSE&G at all?


  13. @agideon. Yes there are two separate charges for the delivery and the gas itself. We overpay for both in the area. You might be able to switch to another source for the commodity that is cheaper but it is PSE&G’s network. They will still get the one fee but not both. My point is they are worrying more about their shareholders than the end users. I know that is Corporate America but it doesn’t mean we need like it or stand for it. The power should be on in all parts of montclair.

  14. “My point is they are worrying more about their shareholders than the end users.”

    If we’ve a way to “hurt” them in their shareholder (a presumably tender part of that “person” that our SCOTUS tells us a corporation is) then they’d take better care of their customers, right? That’s how it works in the normal business world.

    So does it make sense to have a “movement” to switch from PSE&G so as to force better service (in which case they might win us back)? It seems that we’re not completely – if you’ll pardon the pun – powerless.


  15. Fair point. I think most people would need to be educated on the fact that they can buy the commodity elsewhere. In a normal business world we would simply not do business with them. They do have us locked up on the delivery. The beauty of a mini-monopoly.

  16. @rickyboy: sort of like the way I am forced into Comcast against my will, thanks to the Town of Montclair! ~>:|

    BTW this is from PSEG’s website:

    PSE&G has 237 crews and 212 tree crews working around the clock to restore power. In addition to its own crews, the utility has arranged for 60 crews from utilities in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, to assist in the restoration effort as well as 119 line contractor crews.

  17. Andrew – I have been begging Verizon for at least 5 years now, to the point where hubby was recently tempted to stop a Verizon truck and ask how we can get it. (he seems to think sometimes it gets done ‘on the side’ but I am not too fond of that idea.) Folks on three sides of us have it, but not my street. ARGH!

  18. PSE@G has and always been a disgrace. They are typical of a fat cat with no regards for their patrons. The CEO and the board of this company should be unceremoniously fired for their ineptness.
    I am sure I speak not only for the poor souls of Montclair, but also for the minions that allow this company to halt our lives to a standstill with technology one step away from the Industrial Revolution.
    They are typical of a company that just has not moved into this century.

  19. PSE&G is a PITA, it’s true, and a disgrace, and all those other things the hedge fund managers say they are. It won’t change, though, unless there’s some way of changing the nature of power distribution so that it’s not a monopoly. Since no one has figured out a way to deliver power wirelessly, the only real way to do that is for each of us to get our own windmills and solar panels and backup batteries and generators. I’m serious about this. I’m not saying it’s cheap or even worth while, but it’s the only real option.

    Or we could anoint a hedge fund manager as benevolent dictator, of course. In which case all of our problems would melt away like October snow.

  20. Roo, I have to say, a porch and a campfire are looking better all the time!

    That is, until Fios comes to my house!

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