Updated Tuesday, July 26: See the bottom of story for the update.
Many JCP&L customers in Millburn and Short Hills are in the dark after an equipment problem early this morning resulted in a power outage, Millburn police say.
As of 10 a.m. this morning, JCP&L's online outage map is showing that somewhere between 2,001 and 5,000 customers are still without power in Millburn.
The outage has also caused traffic lights at various intersections to stop working, resulting in Millburn Police officers having to manually direct traffic during the early morning rush hour.
Police are asking motorists are to be cautious while traveling through these areas.
JCP&L is anticipating that the problem will be corrected sometime this morning and that power will be restored by noon. Anyone with special needs is being asked to contact the police desk at (973) 564-7001.
Update 3:05 p.m.: Police say that a fire at roughly 4:45 a.m. at a local Millburn JCP&L electrical substation is to blame for today's power outage. Both the Millburn Police and Fire Departments responded and helped extinguish the fire before electricians from JCP&L began making repairs.
At one point this morning, over 5,000 JCP&L customers in town were without power. Since 11 a.m., crews have been working to restore power to the township and report that most of the power has been restored. The company expects repairs to be fully complete within the next few hours.
Unlike this morning, a majority of the traffic lights in town operated by both the township and Essex County are once again fully functioning. The news certainly is welcome for commuters as this morning's outage resulted in numerous road closures and detours.
Currently, the only traffic light in town that remains out of service is at the intersection of Glen Avenue and Wyoming Avenue. As a result, the Wyoming Avenue Bridge has been closed.
Update 4:52 p.m.: A JCP&L spokesperson confirms that approximately 565 customers in Millburn remain without power into the evening. The company expects to have those customers' service restored by 7 p.m. tonight, as the outage is still under investigation.
Update: Tuesday, July 26: All power has been restored, according to JCP&L. Power was off for various times for different customers. Meanwhile doctors offices rescheduled appointments, businesses that couldn't run their cash registered didn't conduct business and some grocery stores closed down and used dry ice to keep food cold.
"We were one of the lucky ones. Our power came back probably around 9:30 in the morning," said Joel Hirschhorn, Director of Recovery Physical Therapy on Main Street. "Thank heavens."
The power was out for seven hours at Gruenwald and Commadore Pediatrics office. Office staff spent a good part of the day rescheduling appointments, until they were able to open late in the day.
"We're up and running and we're all caught up now," said Melissa, who was in charge of rescheduling.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.