Power outages continue to climb as Hurricane Sandy approaches New Jersey, with the number of outages nearly doubling in two hours.

At 2 p.m., Atlantic City Electric reported 143 outages leaving 37,111 customers without power.

At noon, the utility was working on 72 outages that affected 20,754 customers.

Hardest hit were the downbeach communities of Ventnor, Margate and Longport. Atlantic City Electric reported 16,329 customers without power.

There were also almost 4,000 customers without power in the Tuckerton area and more than 2,500 without power in Ocean City.

Other communities with more than 1,000 customers without power included Egg Harbor Township, Upper Township, and the Villas section of Middle Township.

Jersey Central Power and Light reported outages in southern Ocean County, including more than 2,200 without power in Waretown and more than 1,600 without power in Lacey Township.

Vineland Municipal Utilities, which operate the city of Vineland's electrical utility, reported no outages.

To check Atlantic City Electric's outage map visit:

Jersey Central Power and Light:

Vineland Municipal Utility's Facebook page: