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July 07, 2023

Power expected back for thousands in Wildwood on Friday night; residual outages likely to continue Saturday

Atlantic City Electric reports more than 24,000 homes lost power after a fire at an electrical substation. About 15,000 could soon have service restored; some outages may linger into the weekend

Fires Power Outages
Wildwood Power Outage Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A fire at an electric substation in Wildwood knocked out power for more than 24,000 homes and businesses in Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood on Friday. Hours after power was lost, officials said there is still no estimate for when it will be restored.

UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): Atlantic City Electric expects to restore power for about 15,000 customers in Wildwood by some time Friday evening, although the company has not provided a timetable. More than 24,000 homes and businesses on the island were impacted by the outage after a fire damaged one its electric substations around noon Friday.

"We currently do not have an estimate on when we will have service restored for all customers, however service is expected to be restored to approximately 15,000 customers later this evening," Atlantic City Electric said.

The utility provider's outage map showed some electricity had been restored in Wildwood late Friday afternoon, with the number of customers impacted down to 22,403 from more than 24,000 earlier in the day. North Wildwood police said some power was back in the south end of that town around 5 p.m.

"We do expect outages for some customers will go into tomorrow and we will be working to communicate with those customers directly," Atlantic City Electric said.

Original story below

More than 24,000 homes and businesses are still without power in Wildwood after a fire damaged an electric substation on Friday, headed into a busy summer weekend. Around 3:30 p.m., more than three hours after electricty was lost, police said there is still no estimate for when it would be restored to customers in Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood.

Wildwood police have asked people in that town not to call the police dispatch asking when power would be restored, keeping the lines and personnel available to respond to emergencies that may arise.

With traffic lights not working, Wildwood police said earlier that all intersections will be controlled with stop signs and officers directing traffic, and authorities said motorists should drive with caution. Friday's outage also knocked out pumps at gas stations, rendered hotel key cards inoperable and took down ATMs.

With air conditioning units down, officials recommended people check on elderly neighbors and family members. It is cooler at the shore on Friday than in Philadelphia, with the temperature in Wildwood topping out at 82 degrees. The emergency shelter at the North Wildwood Community Center, at 900 Central Ave., has been opened as a cooling center, police said

Atlantic City Electric's outage map shows 24,367 customers remain impacted as of Friday afternoon. FOX29 reported that power could start to return to the island between 5-6 p.m.

The fire occurred around noon at Atlantic City Electric's Lake Avenue substation at Oak and Susquehanna avenues, the fire department said. It has since been contained. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Atlantic City Electric said it is exploring options to reroute electricity to Wildwood.

"We understand how disruptive this can be, we are working as quickly and safely as we can to restore service," the company said. 

Saturdays are typically busy times at Jersey Shore towns, with weekly rentals ending in the mornings, causing a heavy volume of traffic headed out of town, followed by an influx of new vacationers headed into the town by midday. If Wildwood's power outage continues into Saturday, that will complicate that process.

Officials plan to provide ongoing updates via the Wildwood Police Department's advisory page and on Facebook.