Power restored, though repairs continue after substation fire in Wildwood, New Jersey

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Monday, July 10, 2023
Wildwood still trying to return to normal after weekend power outage
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A power outage led to some trouble at the Jersey shore over the weekend.

WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Wildwood was back to its lively self on Monday after a weekend power outage kept the Jersey shore town in the dark.

"Lights were all out," said Kim Capone-Leo of Hamilton Square, N.J. "All of the stands were shut down. All the vendors were standing in the front, like, guarding their wares so no one would run in and grab anything and run I guess."

On Friday, a fire at the Lake Avenue substation knocked out power to about 24,000 Atlantic City Electric customers on the island.

For people just arriving on vacation, Friday evening was chaotic.

"It was hotter inside. It kind of sucked checking in," said Tim Clark of Swedesboro, N.J., who was just beginning a week of vacation with his family.

Damonee Dixon of North Philadelphia was visiting with her mom.

"She was like, everybody here - the power's out. And I was like, 'We gotta go home! We're not from here!"

Folks at Bolero Resort say they had small generators to power certain parts of the hotel.

While some guests left, they tried to make the best of it by bringing in a DJ and powering up the outside bar.

"We had people out there dancing. We had string lights run around the bar when it got a little bit darker so people could still see. The bar was pretty busy all things considered," said general manager Michael Lerro.

While the Bolero had power back for most of Saturday, a transformer blew outside the hotel Saturday night, knocking out power yet again for a few hours.

Lerro said they also moved some guests to other hotels, including those with medical needs.

The hotel was still dealing with some technical issues on Monday.

"We're having some elevator issues. We had a lot of lights that actually blew out - they're LEDs - the drivers inside blew out with those transformer surges," said Lerro.

On Monday, utility crews were still working in the area of the substation and throughout the city.

"We've installed a tremendous amount of temporary equipment to get all folks back online, including large generators, including some temporary solutions at our substation," said Frank Tedesco, spokesperson for Atlantic City Electric. "So right now the effort is to get normal configuration across our system and we'll be working on that through this week."

Tedesco says while all customers are back on, there may be some occasional outages as crews continue to work.

The cause of the substation fire is still under investigation by the utility company and the Cape May County Fire Marshal.