Update: Sunday, 5 p.m.
The wake of last night’s historic snowstorm is wreaking havoc for New Providence and it’s many residents.
Thousands are still without power because numerous power lines and tree limbs are still down through the borough and Deputy Police Chief Scott Torre said it could be days before power is completely restored to residents.
“We’re in a mess, really. [We are] still in a state of emergency, there’s tree limbs and wires down all over the town, we closed schools tomorrow,” Torre told Patch Sunday afternoon. “We’re waiting for JCP&L to clear some of the powered wires that are over the trees before we can move some of these trees. The problem is we can’t do anything with the trees until the power lines are removed so that’s where we’re at.”
The temperature in New Providence is forecasted to drop to 27 degrees tonight and Torre said a full, temporary shelter is set up at Summit Middle School, located at 272 Morris Avenue, for any residents who need it.
“The problem is this isn’t going to be a fast fix. I’d say at least two days probably before we get power restored to the majority of the town and it’s going to be cold tonight,” Torre said. “Some families may need to seek shelter at that shelter at the middle school in Summit.”
The is completely without power, Torre said, and only the police desk and a few rooms in the are powered and have been running on a generator since last night. Further, the police department has twice as many officers on duty as they normally would and will be working in shifts through the night.
“There are power lines down all over town; people really shouldn’t be driving because it’s not safe,” Torre said. “There’s tree limbs hanging from wires, hanging from other tree limbs and someone’s really going to get hurt out there. It’s very, very dangerous out there right now.
“This is a terrible storm and no one was prepared for it,” Torre continued. “It’s way worse than Hurricane Irene was. You can’t believe the amount of trees that are down and the large limbs that are hanging and the wires that are down. It’s really shocking when you drive around.”
As of 4 p.m., Torre said portions of the following main roads are closed to vehicular traffic:
- South Street at Hansell Road (two trees and power lines down)
- Central Avenue by the Morris Union Juncture School and Verona Road (large tree across the road)
- Springfield Avenue by Maple Street
- Division Avenue by Tall Oaks (large tree down on roadway)
- Mountain Avenue by Seven Oaks (tree and power lines down)
“It’s difficult because on all of the small streets, there’s problems there, too, but we’re really concerned with all the main streets,” Torre said. “All the main streets are major problems right now for us, too.”
As of 3 p.m. today, the specific number of households in each town without power are outlined on the JCP&L power outage map as follows:
New Providence: 3,383
Murray Hill: 1,300
Berkeley Heights: 4,166
Continue to check New Providence Patch for more updates.
In the meantime, are you still without power? How are you keeping warm? Do you see trees, limbs and wires down on any borough roadways, cars or homes? Tell us in the comments below.
Halloween is tomorrow, snow is covering the ground and all schools are closed. How is this storm affecting Halloween plans for you and your family? Are you still planning to go Trick-or-Treating? Share your thoughts with us below.
Also, please add any photos from this snowstorm to our photo gallery or send to Caitlin.Mahon@Patch.com.
Stay off the roads, stay warm and stay safe!
Update: Sunday, 2:40 p.m.
As of 2:28 p.m. today, thousands are still without power in New Providence and the surrounding areas. The specific number of households in each town without power are outlined on the JCP&L power outage map as follows:
New Providence: 3,383
Murray Hill: 1,300
Berkeley Heights: 4,166
The New Providence Office of Emergency Management issued another Code Red Alert late this morning, informing residents that a state of emergency has been declared and is still in effect.
"All non-essential travel is prohibited. Many trees and power lines have been downed, causing dangerous conditions and borough-wide power outages. JCP&L is aware of the issues," according to the message. "Please do not call the police regarding power outages. Only call 9-1-1 for medical or life-threatening situations."
All district schools will be closed tomorrow due to this unexpected snowstorm, according to the NPSD web site.
New Providence OEM will be providing further information and updates as they become available.
A number of our New Providence Patch Facebook Page readers reported what they were seeing around the borough late last night. Here are some of their comments:
Michele Ferlisi — "Wire issues on Knollwood."
Bernadette Sullivan Cuccaro — "Trees and wires down on The Fellsway."
Cecile Major Seth — "Transformers blown on Knollwood and Southgate with associated power outages. Several separate lines down on Sagamore. Neighbors are outside watching limbs of majestic trees come crashing down on Sagamore."
Cathy Secours Lacy — "Wires down on Oakwood Drive at Old Brook Lane."
Michael Feuerstein — "Power is back on Walton! Lots of trees and power lines down on Commonwealth, Walton and Vista."
The New Providence Office of Emergency Management issued a Code Red Alert late this afternoon, informing residents that a state of emergency has been declared for the New Providence area.
"Only essential personnel are allowed to be on the roadways," according to the message. "All non-essential personnel are not to be on the roadways and should stay put where they are."
Shirley Grande-Harrington, a resident of New Providence, said there is a tree and wires down along Passaic Street, and limbs are down on Brookside Drive and on Commonwealth Avenue by Osborn and Ridgewood.
Grande-Harrington said power is out for businesses in the Village Shopping Center and for some businesses on Springfield Avenue, including Dunkin Donuts and Center Stationers. However, street lights are working at the intersection of Springfield Avenue and South Street.
If you see trees, limbs or wires down along any roadway or residence in New Providence, tell us in the comments below.
If you take any photos of the view outside your home, please upload to our photo gallery or send to Caitlin.Mahon@Patch.com.
Stay safe, everyone!