NJ Governor orders investigation into public utilities after storm leaves thousands in the dark

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FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is ordering an investigation into how public utility companies responded to the last two winter storms.

Wednesday's heavy snowfall ripped down power lines and trees across New Jersey. One man is dead as a result.

Governor Murphy said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that about 225,000 New Jersey residents have no power tonight. About 17,000 still have no power since last week’s storm.

A man is dead after his car came in contact with a live wire on Summit Avenue off of Route 208 in Franklin Lakes. Neighbors say he went around a police barricade and the wire got wrapped around his tire. They said he tried to remove the wire from his car, but everything went up in flames. Police and firefighters were unable to get to the man or extinguish the blaze until the power was shut off.

"All the sudden the sky opened up the whole woods was on fire,” said one neighbor.

At around 6 p.m. Wednesday night, a 13-year-old was nearly hit by falling tree limbs that brought down power lines all around her. Her mother shared the scary video, in which you can hear the branches cracking before they nearly hit the girl.

Governor Murphy has ordered the Board of Public Utilities to look at if enough was done to prepare for these winter storms. Public hearings will be held in areas served by JCP&L, the utility that saw the most outages as a result of these storms.

The man who died in Franklin Lakes today has not yet been identified. Franklin Lakes Police and the Bergen County Sheriff are investigating.

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