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FirstEnergy's JCP&L criticized for Sandy response

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- Citizens and public officials criticized New Jersey's second-largest utility for its response to power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Jersey Central Power & Light President Don Lynch says the number of outages made it impossible to provide information to individual customers. The utility, which is a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., restored service to 1.3 million customers in 13 days.

Lynch spoke as the state Board of Public Utilities held its first hearing Monday into the performance of power companies after the storm.

BPU President Robert Hanna says 68 percent of all utility customers in the state were without power. Hanna says JCP&L was hit the hardest with 90 percent of its customers losing service.

Officials and citizens criticized the utility for failing to communicate accurate information.

Similar complaints were leveled against JCP&L after Tropical Storm Irene.