Update: Monday, 7 p.m.
Conditions around New Providence haven’t changed very much since this morning. There are still widespread power outages for residents and businesses, numerous roads are still blocked by a combination of downed power lines and trees, and district schools are closed again tomorrow.
New Providence Police Chief Anthony Buccelli said the biggest issue right now are the downed power lines, which is why trick-or-treating was canceled for this evening.
“Most of the debris that’s still left in the roadway, causing traffic blockage, is caused by the trees that are connected with potentially dangerous wires,” Buccelli told Patch late Monday afternoon. “So anything that could have been moved without being affected by power was moved.”
For those residents who are without power and heat, there is a full, temporary shelter located at the Summit Middle School, 272 Morris Avenue.
“It’s a warming shelter and it’s pretty much geared toward taking people in and out, just to give them a place to get warm,” Buccelli said. “I’m sure they won’t turn anybody away that wishes to stay overnight.”
Buccelli said if any residents need transportation to the shelter, the police department can provide it.
So when will power be back on? A JCP&L spokesman told Patch Monday morning that it could be Thursday before the majority of residents have their power back on.
“There’s a misconception that we, the borough officials, have control over [the power] and it’s difficult for us,” Buccelli said. “I know [JCP&L is] out there working today.”
Buccelli said the police department’s main concerns right now are keeping residents safe, moving traffic along as best they can and assisting JCP&L in trying to restore power to the borough.
“We ask everyone to be patient. It’s difficult for all of us,” Buccelli said. “The police department is here to do whatever. If anybody needs anything, please don’t hesitate to call us and if they’d like transportation to that shelter, give us a call at 908-665-1111 and we’ll get you over there.”
As of 6 p.m., the following roads are closed to vehicular traffic due to a combination of downed power lines and tree limbs/branches:
- Mountain Avenue at Seven Oaks and Division Avenue
- Passaic Street
- South Street
- Central Avenue from Maple Street to South Street.
- Pittsford Way
- Whitewood Drive
- Pearl Street near Union Avenue
- Greenwood Road
- Salem Road
- Woodcrest Drive
- Kendrick Road
This isn't a trick, and it's definitely not a treat.
It's Halloween, thousands are still without power in New Providence after Saturday's historic snowstorm — and will be until the end of this week — and it's not safe outside for anyone to go trick-or-treating this evening.
“Right now, we still have a lot of power lines down and trees so some roads are still closed,” said New Providence Police Department Dispatcher Jessica Thedinga. “The most important thing is Halloween, due to the State of Emergency and the street conditions, there is no trick-or-treating tonight. We’re postponing it until Friday, Nov. 4. It’s just not safe for anybody to be out at all.”
In Union County, as of 10 a.m. there are about 19,000 Jersey Central Power & Light customers out of service.
JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said he expects power to be 95 percent restored by Thursday in most places and by Friday for the remainder of the outages.
Town-by-town estimated times of return would not be available until later today or Tuesday, he said.
Morano said tree damage is everywhere and the accumulation of the heavy wet snow on top of trees that still had leaves led to the downed trees and nearby power lines. The unseasonably early snowstorm has left thousands of northern New Jersey residents without power and Morano said that is the big difference between the recent snow and Hurricane Irene. Irene affected outages for customers across the state, while the snowstorm was mostly concentrated in northern New Jersey.
Morano said some customers might have seen power restore and then go out again and continue in that pattern. "When we are restoring customers, it becomes necessary to take some customers out for safety reasons as we make repairs," he said. "Also, you have new outages happening as we are working; trees are still falling days after the storm."
Morano doesn't expect the outage number to rise anymore as much of the snow has melted. He said crews continue to work around the clock to restore power.
As of 11:30 a.m., the following outages were reported by JCP&L:
- 7,201 customers without power in Summit
- 4,682 customers without power in Berkeley Heights
- 3,393 customers without power in New Providence
- 1,300 customers without power in Murray Hill
- 2,084 customers without power in Springfield
- 117 customers without power in Mountainside
, New Providence Deputy Police Chief Scott Torre said a full, temporary shelter was set up at Summit Middle School, located at 272 Morris Avenue, for any residents who need it. Thedinga confirmed that the shelter is still open and available to residents.
As of 10:30 a.m., Thedinga said portions of the following main roads are closed to vehicular traffic:
- Mountain Avenue by Seven Oaks (tree and power lines down)
- Hickson Drive, closed from Pleasantview Avenue to Primrose Drive
- Division Avenue by Tall Oaks
- Union Avenue, closed one way at Pearl Street (tree down, can’t drive north).
- South Street at Hansell Road (tree and power lines down)
- Central at Pittsford—(tree in the road)
The New Providence Office of Emergency Management issued a Code Red Alert this morning, informing residents about Trick-or-Treating. If you did not receive it, the message was as follows:
Due to the State of Emergency that is still in effect and for the safety of our children, trick-or-treating festivities, which would normally be taking place this evening, will take place on Friday, Nov. 4. Over 90% of the borough remains without power and no timeline for restoration has been established. Please keep 9-1-1 phone lines clear for emergency purposes only. We appreciate your patience during these difficult times and will provide further updates as they become available. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors who may not be receiving these updates.
A number of our New Providence Patch Facebook Page readers reported what they were seeing around the borough since the storm hit on Saturday. Here are some of their most recent comments:
- Randy Falk — "Trees and wires down all over Charnwood. No power since 3 p.m. Saturday."
- Shirley Grande-Harrington — "Power is still off on Commonwealth! Told you about sister's house with trees on Midvale and Brookside! We are at hotel! A lot of families from Mountainside, BH and NP! Be safe everyone!"
- Mary Beth Close Bernoskie — "Power still off on Brookside Drive. :("
- Shirley Grande-Harrington — "Hi Caitlin, stopping home to put food in coolers! We are staying at Hotel 304 West, Mountainside... very, very hard to find a room! Even all the way to Secaucus is full capacity!! We lucked out and got the last room yesterday! Any NP peeps want a room tonight, call 973-379-9400 asap! We are staying again... Halloween party downstairs at Emeralds lounge! Thanks for updates!"
Continue to check New Providence Patch for more updates throughout the day.
In the meantime, how are you keeping warm? Did you leave your home and if so, where are you staying? Do you still see trees, limbs and wires down on any borough roadways, cars or homes? Tell us in the comments below.
Halloween is today, trick-or-treating has been rescheduled and power is not expected to be restored until late this week. How do you feel about this? What's your plan for the week ahead? Share your thoughts with us below.
Please add any photos of New Providence from after the storm to our photo gallery or send to Caitlin.Mahon@Patch.com.
If you're in the mood for some spooky stories, check out our Halloween articles — one about a and another about on Johnston Drive, a stretch of road that runs from Watchung to Scotch Plains.
Remember, stay off the roads and stay safe!