The Madison Department of Public Works clears a tree from Woodland Avenue. Credits: Cara Townsend
Traffic crawls along Main Street in Chatham. Credits: Cara Townsend
A downed tree near a house in New Providence. Credits: Michael Shapiro
A downed tree at a Kings Road residence in Chatham. Credits: Cara Townsend
Downtown Millburn was blanketed in snow by mid-day. Credits: Christy Kass
A fallen tree in Basking Ridge. Credits: Walter Pardo
Elm Street in Westfield is closed due to a fallen tree. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Governor Declares State of Emergency as Early Snowstorm Continues to Blanket Northern New Jersey, Knocking Out Power Lines and Felling Trees
Saturday, October 29, 2011 • 4:08pm
Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency for all of New Jersey as snow continues to fall, causing power outages, fallen wires and downed trees. Jersey Central Power and Light is reporting 3,447 customers without power in Berkeley Heights; 2,527 in New Providence; 5,600 in Summit and 1,940 in Millburn / Short Hills. For a complete list of power outages in the area, click here.
The Madison Police Department has just announced that all major roads in the borough are closed, including Woodland Road, Ridgedale Avenue, Central Avene, Shunpike Road, and Green Village Road. The Ambulance Corps (Prospect/Kings) will be used as a warming shelter tonight. If you need the shelter, but are unable to get there call the Madison Police at 973-593-3000.
The first October snowstorm in New Jersey since 1952 called a halt to Halloween festivities and other activities as towns and counties sent trucks and plows out to clear the roadways. The weight of the snow caused trees to fall on houses, cars and into roadways. The Alternative Press has received reports of downed trees and power lines in Madison, Chatham and New Providence.
Chatham Borough is reporting extended tree damage and downed power lines. An emergency center is open at Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue. Mayor Nelson Vaughan said the borough has 11 trucks with plows on the road, and the county is sending trucks. More than 12 roads in the borough are now blocked.
"I was sitting in my living room and there was a really loud explosion and a flash of light," said Kit Bradshaw, who lives in the Chatham Court Condominiums on Main Street. "I went to the window and saw smoke coming from the Main Street. Wires were down across the driveway [at 380 Main Street]. A tree had fallen on the power lines on Main Street as well and there was a very strange smell from the smoke. The fire trucks arrived a few minutes later and would not let people pass through."
Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff said she was on a conference call earlier with JCP&L and they reported 160,000 people are without power in northern New Jersey and more are expected to lose power throughout the evening and into the night.
Haimoff said power is out throughout much of Millburn and Short Hills, trees are down and wires are down.
"The department of public works is working around the clock to remove trees from the roadways in town," she added. "The best thing everyone can do right now is just stay home."
Editor's Note: Send your storm photos and updates of what is happening with the storm in your town to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternative Press writers Cara Townsend and Jackie Lieberman contributed to this report.