New Jersey's utilities have reached the home stretch of their restoration efforts from Monday's powerful thunderstorms that had more than a quarter million customers without power.

PSE&G said in a statement said 99% of its customers had been restored by late Thursday afternoon. It reported 345 customers still in the dark.

The last people to be restored are those in neighborhoods with extensive damage to poles and equipment.

JCP&L said it is still on target for full restoration by late Friday of the 6,000 customers it said were still out because of the storms. The utility said it has entered the most "time consuming, labor intensive and complex part" of their efforts.

The use of camera equipped drones and helicopters helped JCP&L to quickly assess damage and better prepare work crews.

Both utilities brought in crews from out of state to help with restoration.

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, who headed up the county emergency operations, said that considering how quickly the storm happened, municipalities and JCP&L met the challenge to mobilize for the cleanup and restoration of power.

Golden said he activated the county emergency management center after he witnessed the damage in his own yard.

"The towns were effective in communicating.  JCP&L did step up and provide estimated time of restorations near the end, so that was helpful. It's always about managing expectations; we have a lot of  a lot of damage obviously it's a challenge for the current crew configuration to address," Golden said.

Fallen wires in Howell
Fallen wires in Howell (JCP&L)

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