Ask your local candidate a question.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

JCP&L Rep Addresses Knowlton Residents on Power Issues

Knowlton residents are getting fed up with frequent power outages. Even without bad weather. Photo by Joe Phalon.

“We’re getting there,” said Amy Overman, a representative of Jersey Central Power & Light, as she spoke at the near-capacity Township Committee meeting in Knowlton, April 8. 

Most of those attending the meeting have had just about enough of the frequent power outages throughout the township, many of which have happened under clear blue skies. 

Overman detailed improvements and upgrades that are in progress for the power grid and an unscientific poll afterward suggested most people felt reassured with a dash of skepticism. 

Ongoing tree-trimming is the main and most immediate task, Overman said, that is being approached by service area. The power distribution in and around Knowlton is divided into four areas, each served by a substation. Those four zones are designated Columbia, Kittatinny, Pequest and Blairstown. Overman noted that the delineated service areas served by JCP&L don’t necessarily follow governmental borders. 

So far this year, she said, 123 trees have been taken down around the Blairstown substation. In 2023, 400 trees were removed around the Pequest substation. The Kittatinny area will get a major tree removal project in 2025, starting as early as January. 

Overman added that trees that are causing problems or are a potential problem are addressed as soon as the utility company is aware of them. 

JCP&L is adding what they describe as “trip savers” throughout the power grid. She said that as the utility company continues to add new circuits within the system, the trip savers would detect a break in the circuit and try to reconnect three times. If the reconnection is not made, the break would be reported as a tree or a limb down on a line and the power would be redirected through other circuits as they become available. 

Mayor Debra Shipps said after the meeting that she was pleased with the progress JCP&L is making while she understands the frustrations that residents, including herself, are experiencing. She said she is particularly concerned about people on life-support systems in their homes. 

She added, however, that she feels very confident that Overman has and will continue to be an effective advocate for Knowlton. 

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.