Main Street in Madison had power restored as of 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, and some residential streets also reported power was restored Wednesday night.
That means more businesses will be open Thursday, including gas stations pumping fuel, salons styling hair and shops serving hot coffee.
The partial restoration of power is welcome news after days of long lines, sometimes frayed nerves and quests for warmth, wireless Internet, electric outlets and fuel.
While the feeder lines are up, the storm snapped more than 50 utility poles around the Rose City and blew transformers. Restoration is still expected to take days for some neighborhoods. The borough issued an alert Wednesday saying, depending on the neighborhood and damage assessment, residents may be without power for up to 10 days.
Jersey Central Power & Light sent crews to assess damage to its feeder line to the Madison Electric Utility hours after Tropic Storm Sandy hit, and on Wednesday crews arrived and said, "We're not leaving until power to Madison restored," according to Madison Mayor Bob Conley.
The feeder line was energized at 7 p.m. and by 7:20 p.m. the central business district had power.
"I want to thank the leadership and the crews of JCP&L for their delivery on their promise," Conley said in a statement.
It seems the difference between JCP&L's response this year and to last year's October snow storm could not be more different.
After the October snow storm took out JCP&L feeder lines last year, Madison officials could not get through to JCP&L, and their outage report to the utility showed the entire Borough of Madison—one of only a few towns in New Jersey that operates its own electric utility—as a single customer.
Tropical Storm Sandy was another story.
Since the loss of power, we have been in constant communication with JCP&L. As they promised last year, JCP&L ramped up their communication efforts and understand that we are not one customer but a town of 16,000 with a university of 2,000 and multiple locations of senior housing and nursing home. ... I want to thank the leadership and the crews of JCP&L for their delivery on their promise.
Conley urged residents who don't have power to be patient, saying it was a historic storm and "we are all in this together."