Swaths of South Jersey and Central Jersey were struck by power outages Friday evening, after waves of strong thunderstorms moved through the area.
Nearly 20,000 JCP&L customers in Ocean County were without power as of 6:30 p.m., along with almost 600 customers in Monmouth County and some in Middlesex, Burlington and Hunterdon, according to the company’s outage website.
“Lightning strikes caused a large amounts of the outages that we’re seeing,” Clifford Cole, a JCP&L spokesman, told NJ Advance Media.
Cole said he could not estimate when power was expected to be restored, but he said JCP&L crews were working on the problem.
PSE&G, meanwhile, was dealing with about 1,500 customers that had lost power in Burlington County. The utility did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Atlantic City Electric was reporting fewer than 1,000 customers without power at the same time.
Much of South Jersey remains under severe thunderstorm watch through 8 p.m. on Friday night, and a series of thunderstorm warnings had been issued by the National Weather Service between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Friday’s storms were the first round of nasty weather linked to tropical moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Laura to affect New Jersey. More storms from the dissipating tropical system are expected to move through the area on Saturday, and forecasters say some of those storms could become severe with heavy downpours and damaging winds.
Utility companies warned that Laura’s leftovers could cause more power outages through the weekend. Cole said JCP&L crews will be standing by for anymore outages that occur in coming days.
Michael Sol Warren may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.