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UPDATE 5:50PM: No Power Restoration Timeline Yet For New Providence

Continue to check this article through Thursday for updates from residents and Offices of Emergency Management in New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside.

Update: 5:50 p.m.

Here is an update from the New Providence Police Department —

Good afternoon all:  

I hope this message finds all recipients well, safe and secure in your homes.

As you all are well aware we have survived one of the most powerful storms to hit New Jersey ever. Although we have significant damage in our town, we are still much better off that many other communities. As of this time, some power has been restored mainly north of Springfield Avenue. We just had a conference call with JCP&L who offered us no time table on our restoration. We will forward information as it becomes available.  

There has been a rumor going around that the water company was going to stop pumping. THAT IS NOT FACTUAL! Water will continue to flow and is safe to drink and cook with. Gasoline continues to be an issue, as many local gas stations do not have power and cannot pump. The ones that are pumping have been running out and are awaiting new deliveries, hopefully tomorrow.  

We have been operating here at the Police Department on generated power since Monday and will continue to do so until the power is restored. We have all of our officers working around the clock to keep the town safe. I know many of you are getting cold in your homes. We have the gymnasium in the Municipal Center open 24 hours as a shelter, warming station and you can also charge your electronic items here.  

We have been able to open many roads. The roads that remain closed with trees down are due to the fact that power lines have been tangled in them and we cannot remove the trees until the power lines are removed by the power company. Please do not attempt to remove or move power lines as we do not know which ones are still powered. I would also suggest limiting your travel as gasoline will most likely be difficult to get for and indeterminate time.  

Just as a reminder, we are all in this together and we are very encouraged with the cooperation we have been seeing with our residents helping each other. Please check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly, to see if they are OK.  

Please refrain from calling the police department with inquiries regarding the power situation. The desk officers have been overwhelmed with calls and there is no additional information to add. I will update this information tomorrow as more definite timelines can be established.  

Thank you all for your patience with this situation. Stay Safe and warm!  

Scott F. Torre

Deputy Chief of Police, New Providence Police Department

 

Update: Thursday, 5 p.m.

All Berkeley Heights and Mountainside schools are closed tomorrow, Nov. 2. We haven’t heard from the New Providence School District yet.

We’ve compiled a list of open businesses in New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside. To view the list, click on this link: http://patch.com/A-zkzL

Gas supply and open gas stations are among the largest problems for residents following Hurricane Sandy. As of 2:30 p.m. today, Exxon on Springfield Avenue was open, but there was a very long line of cars and residents waiting on line with gas cans. At this time, we haven’t heard of any open gas stations in Berkeley Heights and Mountainside.

As of 4:45 p.m., here is a list of gas stations that are open in Union County: http://patch.com/A-zl1n NOTE: Gas stations will likely close once they run out of gas. Expect long lines at any gas station in the area. We will continue to update this list as often as we can.

Residents requiring disaster assistance should contact FEMA directly at 1-800-621-3362 or www.disasterassistance.gov. Residents are urged to contact FEMA as soon as possible to begin the process.

Here are the latest outage numbers from the JCP&L power outage map, as of 4:55 p.m. Thursday afternoon. (We've also included the outage numbers from JCP&L, reported at 1 p.m. Thursday morning):

  • New Providence – 3,601 (was 3,774)
  • Berkeley Heights – 2,627 (was 2,723)
  • Mountainside – 312 (was 308)

Outages in nearby communities as of 4:55 p.m. Thursday. (We've also included the outage numbers from JCP&L, reported at 1 p.m. Thursday morning):

  • Summit – 7,271 (was 6,803)
  • Chatham Township - 3,999 (was 3,954)
  • Chatham Borough 1,691 (was 1,673)
  • Long Hill Township - 3,500 (was 3,483)
  • Springfield - 6,977 (was 6,901)
  • Warren – 3,520 (was 4,823)

The New Providence Office of Emergency Management issued the following Code Red Alert message around 4:20 p.m.:

Please be advised of the following updates:

The rumor that New Jersey American Water will be voluntarily shutting down water systems throughout the state is not true. New Jersey American Water has been working around the clock to ensure that customers will continue to receive uninterrupted water service.

Garbage collection scheduled for today, Thursday, November 1, will be finished tomorrow. Garbage collection scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, November 2, will be finished by Saturday. There will be normal recycling on Friday, November 2.

JCP&L continues to make progress in restoring power to New Providence. Crews are in the area and will continue working to restore the remaining areas that are still without power.

The following information was posted on the borough’s website regarding Election Day:

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Polls are open 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. The Union County Board of Elections advise that all regular polling places in New Providence will be open. If power has not been restored by Tuesday, generators will be provided so voting can take place as originally scheduled.

 

Update: Thursday, 1 p.m.

While thousands are still without power and it's likely to take several days to restore power to all customers, JCP&L crews are out in New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside on Thursday and power has been restored to some customers.

Here are the latest outage numbers from the JCP&L power outage map, as of 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon. (We've also included the outage numbers from JCP&L, reported at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning):

  • New Providence – 3,774 (was 4,925)
  • Berkeley Heights – 2,723 (was 3,207)
  • Mountainside – 308 (was 335)

Outages in nearby communities as of 1 p.m. Thursday. (We've also included the outage numbers from JCP&L, reported at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning):

  • Summit - 6,803 (was 7,792)
  • Chatham Township - 3,954 (was 4,332)
  • Chatham Borough 1,673 (was 2,710)
  • Long Hill Township - 3,483 (was 3,786)
  • Springfield - 6,901 (was 7,501)
  • Warren - 4,823 (was 5,243)

An update from Organization Resources, as of 11 a.m. Thursday:

By now it's an "old story."  It's going to be a while until electric is back. Best place to be is at home, but if you need to go out, please be careful of any downed wires. Most of us have found our "charging stations", our warm spots. We all know that gas is in short supply.

CURRENT 11 am NUMBERS OF CUSTOMERS EFFECTED BY THE STORM FROM THE JERSEY CENTRAL POWER AND LIGHT WEBSITE ...

  • SUMMIT - 6,869
  • NEW PROVIDENCE - 4,600
  • BERKELEY HEIGHTS - 3,038

These numbers are from the First Energy Website. Small increases in restoration in Summit and New Providence and over 1,000 restored in Berkeley Heights. Again, no one is making any promises on restoration. Summit Mayor Dickson is suggesting that if you have relatives or friends who have power, to consider staying with them for the duration.

ROAD CLOSURES: There are road closures all over the region. Be safe and attentive when driving. When Driving, no phones, no texting, tweeting etc. PLEASE!  

NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCED THAT BUS SERVICE ON MOST ROUTES HAS BEEN RESTORED.

FROM OVERLOOK HOSPITAL: All inpatient, emergency and radiology services are open. Most outpatient services are open, however, please call ahead to make sure.

SUMMIT MEDICAL GROUP: All Summit Medical Group locations are closed Wednesday and Thursday with the exception of their West Orange Location. They are updating their website regularly. http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/

THE STATE MOVES HALLOWEEN: Governor Christie has issued an Executive Order moving the New Jersey celebration of Halloween to Monday, November 5. We are sure that individual municipalities will make their own decisions based upon the SAFETY of all involved.

BUSINESS UPDATES: We can tell you that there is limited power in all three downtowns. Long lines at the Gas Stations that are open. Many of the food establishments are open, some with limited menus.

Here are some notices that we have received from local member businesses:

 

The Elks Club opened at 10:00 AM today in case anyone wanted to get in out of the cold, charge up their electronic devices, view the news, and get a cup of coffee.

Carney Electric is without phones and are sure people are trying to call us.  They urge you to email them at DeLeCe@aol.com for Carney Electric.

Lou Del Rosso of Liss Pharmacy reports that they are open 9am-8pm and filling prescriptions. Insurance plans accepted and credit cards accepted as long as power and internet remains on.

THE GRAND SUMMIT HOTEL has had to close, and will remain closed until power is restored.

Hoboken Farms Sandwich Shop has moved their production location to their new cafe at the Equinox fitness facility located at 68 River Road in Summit. Charging Station available, as well as food and beverages.

Paul Neuwirth reports that he has propane at Taylor Rental - and our power is on. If anyone wants to charge phones, we have two charging stations available.

Skin Deep Day Spa in New Providence reports that they are now open.

The Prestige Diner is open.

Elefante Music is open

The Adams Shopping Center has power and all stores are open in New Providence.

The Chamber's First Friday event, scheduled for this Friday at 8:00 am at the Grand Summit Hotel, has been cancelled.   Watch for a special networking event later this month!

VOTING INFORMATION: The Union County Clerk's offices in Elizabeth and Westfield will be open for last minute vote-by-mail ballots on Saturday, November 3rd 9:00AM - 2:00PM and Sunday, November 4th 10:00AM - 2:00PM.

UNION COUNTY: County Offices are open. Home delivered meals will resume today.   Para-transit services will resume today (November 1). Courts re-opened on November 1. All county parks remain closed until further notice. The November 3 Pumpkin Sail and the Nov 5 Barn Dance are postponed. The Sensory Friendly Theater performance of Pinocchio at UCPAC scheduled for November 4 is also postponed.

REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO REPORT: If you lose power call JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877 and report it. Don't assume that they know, by calling it will be registered.  

Our thanks to the municipal officials in Summit, New Providence and Berkeley Heights, who have been providing us with some of the information for these updates.

Editor's Note: We sincerely hope you, your families and your friends are safe and well in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

If you have ANY information and photos you can share about the damages to your neighborhood, please share them with us so we can share with your neighbors.

You can:

1. Email photos and info to caitlin.mahon@patch.com and we'll add them to directly to the Patch homepage. 

— OR —

2. Post your photos and information here for residents of New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside to see: http://patch.com/A-zc4x

OUR CONTINUOUS COVERAGE OF HURRICANE SANDY

We'll continue to provide you with as much information as we can in Hurricane Sandy wake in the New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Mountainside area.

To stay up-to-date on Sandy's aftermath and the long restoration process, be sure to bookmark this link. It contains every article published on New Providence-Berkeley Heights Patch about Hurricane Sandy: http://newprovidence.patch.com/topics/hurricane-sandy-in-new-providence-berkeley-heights-mountainside

For even more news and updates about Hurricane Sandy, subscribe to our free newsletter, "like" us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewProvidencePatch or follow @NewProvPatch on Twitter. We will post upates on the storm as they become available.

Be safe, everyone!

 

Original Story, Thursday Morning

Residents in New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside continued to clean up the damages from Hurricane Sandy on Wednesday, Oct. 31, trying to gain some sense of normalcy following such a horrific storm that energy companies are comparing to Hurricane Katrina.

While debris, trees, tree limbs and branches, utility poles and power lines still pepper roads throughout all three towns, residents were still out and about on Wednesday. While some were cleaning up what debris they could and others were supervising workers removing fallen trees from their properties, many other residents could be found taking a stroll or a run with friends, playing a pick-up game of soccer or football, and running errands.

[See our photo gallery here: http://patch.com/A-zkq3]

Despite trying to return to a normal schedule, thousands of residents are still without power this morning and it’s going to be several days, if not weeks, before power is restored to all in New Providence, Mountainside and Berkeley Heights.

Here are the latest outage numbers from the JCP&L power outage map, as of 1:30 a.m. Thursday:

  • New Providence – 4,925
  • Berkeley Heights – 3,207
  • Mountainside – 335

Outages in nearby communities as of 1:30 a.m.:

  • Summit - 7,792
  • Chatham Township - 4,332
  • Chatham Borough 2,710
  • Long Hill Township - 3,786
  • Springfield - 7,501
  • Warren - 5,243

Remember, all schools are closed in Berkeley Heights, Mountainside and New Providence on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Despite rumors, all three municipalities announced Wednesday afternoon that New Jersey American Water Company is not turning off the water supply to residents.

Mountainside Update

Police Captain Richard Osieja said it could be 3 to 5 days before PSE&G — the company that serves the majority of the borough — restores power to affected residents.

“They tell you 3 to 5 days,” he said. “But from my experience and from looking at it, I would expect it to be at least 5 days or more.”

Osieja said he would venture to say that most, if not all, of Mountainside is without power.

“PSE&G covers almost all of Mountainside except for the very top of Mountainside, when you get to the top of Summit Road and along Summit Lane, which borders the Summit/Springfield area. That is JCP&L,” he said. “Our center of town does not have power. Our residential areas do not have power. Our highway does not have power. Our gas stations are out. We’re running into a problem with getting gas for the municipal cars so we were able to work out an agreement with the county where we can go over to the county DPW garage and gas up there, which is in Westfield.”

Osieja said the AMC Movie Theater on Rte. 22 has power on the Springfield line. From there, east, there is sporadic power to various businesses. But everywhere west, from the Springfield/Mountainside line west through Scotch Plains, Watchung, and Plainfield, there’s no power on the highway, which is creating a huge traffic problem for residents looking for gas.

“All of those gas stations are out. It’s forcing everyone to go to the two or three gas stations that are in the center aisle down in Union to get gas,” he explained. “What it’s doing is it’s causing tremendous lines and the traffic, when you come eastbound from Mountainside into Springfield, is dead stopped based on the traffic of people waiting for gas down in Union. I’ve never seen anything like it."

Osieja said it would lessen the burden if PSE&G could get the grids that run along Rte. 22 powered again.

“If they got that going, it would open up the gas stations and relieve the congestion of the few gas stations going eastbound in Union that are really jamming everything up,” he said.

But PSE&G does have power restoration priorities in Mountainside, such as Children’s Specialized Hospital on New Providence Road, which does not have power.

“Three poles cracked and lines were down at the intersection of Standish Avenue and New Providence Road, which is almost on an angle across from the hospital,” he said. “We were actually there today; they reset poles and tried to get the power lines hooked up for them. I don’t know whether they have power right now. I don’t think they do yet.”

Throughout Wednesday, Osieja said the Office of Emergency Management had some road blockages throughout the borough from trees and wires. However, some of the major roads are now open.

“I’m glad to report that all of our main roads, and again, Summit Road leading up to Overlook Hospital, is mainly open and free. Tracy Drive going up toward the reservation area is open,” he said. “New Providence Road is open. There is only one lane open at the intersection of New Providence Road and Deer Path. Hopefully by tomorrow, the county will get out there to cut that large oak tree over power lines, which is hanging in the roadway and blocking one lane. So it’s coned off, we’re allowing people to go through, they just have to be careful in that area.”

Osieja said numerous properties are damaged with trees on top of houses. But thankfully, there are no injuries to report.

“Just property damage mainly, which people seem to be taking in good stride,” he said. “They realize everybody would like to have power, but they also realize the severity of the storm and what we’re looking at. It’s going to be a few days before we see any electricity.”

For any residents who need to charge their cell phones, a charging station is set up at Mountainside Borough Hall.

“The fire department hooked up a generator outside the Court Room window, which is also our Council Chambers, and they were able to set up electricity in there for people to charge their cell phones,” he said.

Important Messages From Captain Osieja

1. Stay at home unless it’s an emergency

“We just wish that people, unless they absolutely have to be out, stay off the roadways so it leaves it free for us to move around and clean up the debris,” Osieja said. “It’s kind of difficult when you have so many people out, who are just sightseeing, riding around, looking at damage and what not. I don’t know if people are getting stir crazy from being in the house, but it does make it harder for us.”

2. If you must go out, please drive slowly

“If they could just slow it down a little bit,” Osieja said. “We’re out at some of these scenes where trees are down and it seems like people almost speed up when they see you because they want to get by or they think you’re going to close the road on them,” he explained. “It is a safety issue out there for the firemen, the DPW workers and the police officers.”

3. All Mountainside schools will be closed Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2. Governor Livingston High School is also closed Thursday. Closure for Friday will be determined on Thursday.

4. There is no word yet on whether or not Halloween Trick-or-Treating will be rescheduled for another date in Mountainside.

5. The only business open in Mountainside at this time is Publick House, located at Mountain Avenue and New Providence Road.

New Providence Update

Mayor J. Brooke Hern says municipal officials continue to make progress in the restoration efforts following Hurricane Sandy. 

Hern said that he has been in touch with officials at JCP&L who are working on an assessment of the outages, system-wide. JCP&L crews are actively working in New Providence.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said a conference call with JCP&L “was not very informative from a local perspective, as there was nothing specific for our area. JCP&L simply stated that they’ve restored 160,000 customers of the 1,000,000 plus without power. Crews are working 16-hour shifts. We are waiting for specific information from our local government representative.”

Hern said the shelter, located in the gymnasium of the Municipal Center, will remain open for those who desire shelter.  Also, charging stations are available for cell phones, tablets and laptops.  Residents must bring their own chargers.

Hern praised the efforts of the emergency services personnel in New Providence, citing the extraordinary working relationships among agencies assuring seamless emergency services to our residents.  The Department of Public Works has worked tirelessly to clear downed trees and clear roadways blocked by debris. 

Hern also thanked the countless volunteers who assisted with staffing the shelter and serving in other capacities.

Important Messages from Borough Administrator Doug Marvin

1. Brush Pick-up and Garbage Collection

“New Providence officials announced Wednesday that brush pick up that was scheduled for Monday and the Tuesday garbage pick up would occur on Wednesday, but would likely take more than one day to complete."

2. Garbage Collection

“Unfortunately, Garbage collection is being disrupted in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Our incinerator, located in Rahway, is without power and is not accepting any trash.  Therefore, collections scheduled for Thursday will be moved to Friday and collections scheduled for Friday are moved to Saturday.”

3. Leaf Collection

“Leaf collection has also been modified due to the storm.  The revised schedule is as follows:

East side - Week of Nov. 5

West side- Week of Nov. 12

East side – Week of Nov. 19

West side - Week of Nov. 26

East side - Week of Dec. 3

Additional crews are being added to expedite the collections.  If you see leaf crews out early, don’t be alarmed, as they will return during the times listed above.”

4. Downed Trees

“Residents are reminded that trees toppled by Hurricane Sandy are the responsibility of the homeowner.  If you engage a Tree Company, the contractor must remove the tree and not place it at the curb.  The Borough will not pick up trees.”

5. Brush Pick-up

“The regular scheduled Monday brush pick-up will resume on Monday, Nov. 5 and will continue on Mondays through Dec. 3. The borough has scheduled an additional brush pick up for Saturday, Nov. 10.  This special pick up will follow the requirements of the regularly scheduled Monday brush pick up.  Brush must be placed in containers or tied into bundles.”

 

An update from Organization Resources, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday:

Here's are the latest updates:

Summit Mayor Dickson is suggesting that if you have relatives or friends who have power, to consider staying with them for the duration.

ROAD CLOSURES: There are road closures all over the region. Be safe and attentive when driving. When Driving, no phones, no texting, tweeting etc. PLEASE!  

FROM OVERLOOK HOSPITAL: All inpatient, emergency and radiology services are open. Most outpatient services are open, however, please call ahead to make sure.

SUMMIT MEDICAL GROUP: All Summit Medical Group locations are closed Wednesday and Thursday with the exception of their West Orange Location. They are updating their website regularly. http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/

 

HALLOWEEN UPDATES:

SUMMIT: Tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3. No Trick-or-Treating on Wednesday.  

NEW PROVIDENCE: No Trick-or-Treating on Wednesday. Rumors about an alternate celebration today are NOT TRUE.

THE STATE DECLARES: Governor Christie has issued an Executive Order moving the New Jersey celebration of Halloween to Monday, Nov. 5. We are sure that individual municipalities will make their own decisions based upon the SAFETY of all involved.

BUSINESS UPDATES: We can tell you that there is limited power in all three downtowns. Long lines at the Gas Stations that are open. Many of the food establishments are open, some with limited menus.

Here are some notices that we have received from local member businesses:

THE GRAND SUMMIT HOTEL has had to close, and will remain closed until power is restored.

Hoboken Farms Sandwich Shop has moved their production location to their new cafe at the Equinox fitness facility located at 68 River Rd. in Summit. Charging Station available, as well as food and beverages.

Paul Neuwirth reports that he has propane at Taylor Rental - and our power is on. If anyone wants to charge phones, we have two charging stations available.

Skin Deep Day Spa in New Providence reports that they are now open.

The Prestige Diner is open.

Elefante Music is open, but classes were cancelled.

The Chamber's First Friday event, scheduled for this Friday at 8:00 am at the Grand Summit Hotel, has been cancelled.   Watch for a special networking event later this month!

 

SUMMIT INFORMATION:

 SHELTER / CHARGING STATION
 
The Summit Middle School is open for those who need sheltering and will serve as a charging station. Those displaced residents with pets, may bring their pets with pet carrier.

CLOSINGS
 
Summit Public Schools will be closed for the balance of the week.

UNION COUNTY: County Offices will re-open tomorrow, Thursday November 1. The Park-Madison Building in Plainfield will remain closed, however all staff assigned to the Park Madison Building are required to  report to their companion Social Service's Offices in Elizabeth. Home delivered meals will resume on Thursday, November 1. Para-transit services will resume on November 1. Courts will re-open on November 1. All county parks remain closed until further notice. The November 3 Pumpkin Sail and the Nov 5 Barn Dance are postponed.

FROM BERKELEY HEIGHTS MAYOR JOE BRUNO as reported in the ALTERNATIVE PRESS ...

Power has been restored to approximately 800 homes in the last 24 Hours but we still have about 3560 outages as of now throughout the Township. JCP&L is still saying 6-10 days before all power is back. Once again if you have not called JCP&L and reported your outage at 1-888-544-4877 you must do so. Do Not Assume that they know.

·         Residents who need to power up their computers or cell phones are welcome to do so at Town Hall or the YMCA on Springfield Ave..  

·         Halloween has been postponed until it is 100 percent safe to do so. We will notify residents via reverse 9-1-1 when it will take place.

·         Most of the Stores, Restaurants and Businesses in the downtown area have power.

·         I have made the decision to again Re-Chip the Township. This will start when it is safe to do so. Please start to put your branches out as soon as you are able. There will be no posted schedule, we will start in the areas we can get to first and we will only make one pass through the entire Township including Free Acres. Please arrange your branches in the same order as the regular chipping program.  All branches with the large ends facing out, 4 inch diameter maximum. Only Branches Please no fencing or lumber we will not have the time to separate piles so if you have anything but branches it will not be picked up and we will not return until spring.

REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO REPORT: If you lose power call JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877 and report it. Don't assume that they know, by calling it will be registered. 

BarT November 01, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Contact your local police and demand that they round up the local registered sex offenders. Most sex offenders are diabolical geniuses and will take advantage of the chaos to prey on unattended children.

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