NJ: Conectiv customers lose electricity for 40 minutes

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Friday, September 8, 2000

Conectiv customers lose electricity for 40 minutes By BRIAN HICKEY

Staff Writer, (609) 569-7483

PLEASANTVILLE -- An equipment problem at Conectiv's city substation left more than 8,600 customers here and in Northfield and portions of Egg Harbor Township and Linwood without power for about 40 minutes Thursday morning.

The 9:10 a.m. outage -- which also knocked out traffic lights in those areas -- forced officials at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point to delay surgeries and divert incoming critical-care patients to other facilities for about an hour.

Conectiv spokeswoman Betty Kennedy said power was restored by 9:51 a.m., after a period during which droves of customers called the company to report problems.

"Sometimes we never figure out exactly what it was, so we'll overcompensate by replacing a lot of equipment (in the problem area)," Kennedy said. The hospital is the only part of Somers Point served by that substation.

"It could have been a transformer but we won't know until we overcompensate," she said.

Julie McWilliams, a Shore Memorial spokeswoman, said the facility's backup generators kicked in immediately after the problems with Conectiv became evident.

Surgeries that already were under way continued under that power, but other procedures were held off until about 10 a.m., when the hospital lifted the critical-care diversion. Everything was back on schedule by 11 a.m., McWilliams said.

City residents and police were among the hardest hit by the outage as most homes and apartments lost power and traffic lights turned off. All on-duty police officers hit the streets to direct traffic at busy intersections and answer alarm calls -- the outage tripped many security systems -- while they called for backup from Atlantic City and the county Sheriff's Office, officials said.

Northfield Police Capt. Jack Glasser said City Hall lost power and traffic signals along Route 9, Shore Road and Tilton Road were affected.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 08, 2000

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