Power returns to Gloucester County neighborhoods

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
VIDEO: Power returning in Gloucester County
A week after a strong storm, power is being restored to residents in Gloucester County.

GIBBSTOWN, N.J. (WPVI) -- It's been almost a week since that violent storm moved through our area and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people.

But the cleanup is still not over.

"Long days, working 14, 15, 16 hours, starting at 6:00 a.m.," Chuck Bylone of Expert Tree Service, Inc. said.

Dominick and Linda Magazu have lived in their Gibbstown home for 30 years where prior power outages lasted only a day or so.

"Very frustrated. We've made due, but I'm getting a little tired of it now, but I do understand. There's massive destruction all over the place," Linda said.

81-year-old Mary Powelson of East Greenwich Township got electricity back Monday afternoon.

"The next thing I know, one of my lights came on and that was at exactly 12:26 p.m.," Powelson said.

Six neighbors in a Mullica Hill development of more than 100 remained without power until Monday night, unable to leave because they feared water would fill their basement.

"Someone has to be here because if the generator is not going, sump pumps don't work," resident Brian McGroarty said.

A desperate call to a priest who had a connection with Atlantic City Electric finally got crews out to the Mullica Hill neighborhood.

At the storm's peak, 280,000 Atlantic City Electric customers were without power.

By Monday night, less than 1,000 remained in the dark.

Power crews from surrounding states made up more than a thousand who pitched in everywhere they could Monday as frustration grew.

Greenwich's mayor continues to be critical of Governor Chris Christie's response to requests by local officials for a state of emergency declaration.

At a news conference Sunday, the town's Republican mayor took a tough stance, comparing the current situation and Christie's high profile response to shore damage after Hurricane Sandy.

"The governor repaid us by forgetting us in our time in need. Frankly, it's time Governor Christie paid attention to New Jersey's west coast. Many of the towns on or near the Delaware River are devastated," Mayor George Shivery said.

Christie, meanwhile, is joining the presidential race Tuesday.

He will formally declare his candidacy at his alma mater Livingston High School.