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Power Outages Hit Communities Around New Jersey

ROSELLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - The weather Friday was being blamed for power problems across New Jersey.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, weather-related damage was blamed Thursday for an underground transformer fire at Newark Liberty International Airport. The fire just outside Terminal C cause

PSE&G said about 30,000 had had power restored following an outage in Union County, including locations in Cranford, Clark, Kenilworth, Mountainside, Elizabeth and Union. Some 10,000 customers were still without power, PSEG said.

"We are working to restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible," the company said in a statement.

Drivers had to maneuver without the benefit of traffic lights to help them, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported. Some gas stations were unable to pump.

"There's a rest stop down in South Amboy that lost power so it's kind of annoying," said Gabriella Brito.

Cranford schools were ordered to shelter in place during the outage. All children were safe, the Cranford Police Department said.

Businesses also came to screeching halts.

"We weren't able to take as many customers as we possibly can throughout the morning," said Iconya Washington who works at a beauty supply store.

"Registers were out -- no lights, no nothing," said Macy's employee Al Ruf.

It meant closing the Macy's, other stores and restaurants at the Menlo Park Center in Edison.

Workers and customers just stood outside.

"They said: 'Ma'am, the mall closed. Hopefully will have power back in an hour," said Ray Malijaya of Somerset, New Jersey. "So I'll wait I guess."

Outages impacted tens of thousands in various towns. In Clark, a worker at a Rite Aid was outside waiting it out.

JCPL said some 9,000 customers were impacted, and that the outage was caused by a problem at two substations. JCPL said 5,000 customers were still out in Northern New Jersey and 3,000 in Middlesex late Friday afternoon.

PSEG said the trouble was due to weather-related equipment damage: The sudden hike in temperatures quickly melted snow, mixing with salt, which damaged the infrastructure, Carlin reported.

Meanwhile, a manhole fire outside Newark Liberty International Airport forced officials to evacuate a section of Terminal C Friday morning.

Fire crews responded to the scene just before noon and quickly extinguished the fire.

Generators kicked in early and kept check-in, security and other airport operations going. But passengers shared social media images of showed jams at ticket counters and longer lines to get through security during the fire and outage.

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