The New Jersey Department of Transportation has reported downed live wires across Route 80 causing all lanes to close in both directions west of Exit 34 to Route 15 in Roxbury. The downed wires appear to be the reason for the widespread outage across northern NJ.
A county wide power failure is impacting more than 62,600 customers in Sussex County Tuesday afternoon and the numbers continue to climb. As the heat wave continues and temperatures reach into the 90’s more than half of JCP&L’s customers in the county are without power according to FirstEnergy.
In Sparta nearly 7,100 people have lost power. The Sparta municipal building and library are open as cooling and charging centers as both facilities have generators. At the municipal building people are asked to enter through the police department and check in with dispatch.
The outage has affected much of Sussex County, including the NJ State Fair. A fair representative said, “The Fairgrounds is experiencing a power outage along with the surrounding areas affected by an incident that occurred out of county. We’re communicating with JCP&L regarding restoration and emergency management for re-establishing water supply. Until this is resolved, there will be no admission into the grounds.”
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A brush fire in the area of the downed power lines has also been reported.
Sussex Rural Electric said, “We are gathering information on the outage that is affecting our system at the moment. Transmission lines beyond our system are down and we know very little at the moment. We will post information as it becomes available. This is a far-reaching outage affecting many towns, not just our service territory. Please be patient.”
The township council meeting has been postponed until next Tuesday night. According to acting Township Manager Neil Spidaletto the air conditioning is not on in the council chambers. It will be on in the other areas of the municipal building for residents.
Sparta recreation softball and yoga class are canceled.
As traffic lights are not operating in Sparta people are asked to keep travel to a minimum.
A high-tension line has come down across Route 80 on both sides of the highway, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation. The incident happened west of Exit 34-Route 15 in Roxbury Township. All three westbound lanes are closed while eastbound remains open.
In addition to causing the outage, the line struck several cars sparked a brush fire.
According to JCP&L power is expected to be restored by 6 p.m.