Cars wait on Halsey Road for gas at Fairclough Fuel in Hampton Township, on Tuesday evening. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
A mass of tree limbs on Trinity Street in Newton. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Traffic signals out on Route 206/Route 94, yesterday in Newton. Drivers yielded to one another in those areas. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Cars wait at Fairclough Fuel, one of the only stations open in the county, for gas. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Locals wait on long lines, including at the Hampton Diner, for food. Other restaurants with long lines, and waits, yesterday evening included: Subway and Burger King in Newton, Yetter's Diner, and The Chatterbox in Augusta. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Hilltop Trail is not passable as snapped utility poles with live wires and a fallen tree block any safe passage. More than 30 Roads in Sparta Township are in the similar shape. (Sparta Township Police Photo). Credits: Sparta Township Police Photo
This East Shore Trail home was struck with two large Trees. 15 Homes have either moderate or extensive damage as a result of fallen trees. (Sparta Township Police Photo). Credits: Sparta Township Police Photo
This home in the #200 Block of West Shore Trail suffered significant damage as a large tree smashed through the roof after being toppled by Hurricane winds early on 10/30/12. (Sparta Township Police Photo). Credits: Sparta Township Police Photo
This home on #700 Block of West Shore Trail was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy's ferocious wind gust last night. (Sparta Township Police Photo). Credits: Sparta Township Police Photo
Not even the Little League Baseball Field at Ungerman Field in Sparta escaped Hurricane Sandy. Light poles crashed down into left field and destroyed the batter's cage in center field. (Sparta Township Police Photo). Credits: Sparta Township Police Photo
A farm stand which faced the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Credits: Jeff Goyette
A shed after being crushed by a tree. Credits: Jeff Goyette
A utility pole down on Route 23 in Wantage. Credits: Jeff Goyette
Electricity And Hope Being Restored In Sussex County After Hurricane Sandy
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 • 11:48am
SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – Things are brightening up, literally, in Sussex County, as power is starting to be restored for residents and businesses after Hurricane Sandy.
“In general, we’re starting to see positives,” said Sussex County Administrator, John Eskilson this morning.
Some positives, Eskilson said include quiet weather conditions, roads being cleared, and power being restored.
Residents should go to 511.org, or dial 5-1-1 for all other road closures.
Power in the Town of Newton has reached nearly full restoration, Eskilson said, and all county offices will reopen tomorrow, Thursday, November 1. He said Social Services is expected to reopen today, October 31, at noon, with a skeleton crew.
Residents at Brookside Terrace in Newton will also be returned home, with 75 of them having chosen to evacuate their building, and were transported to the shelters at Sussex County Technical School, and Hopatcong High School.
Many eateries are open throughout the county, as well as supermarkets, including Shop Rite, and Weis in Newton.
In addition to the gas stations that The Alternative Press reported were reopened yesterday (click here for previous article), which include Busy Bee on Mill Street in Newton (super only), Sunoco on Route 23 in Hamburg, Hendersons on Bank Street in Sussex, and, all gas stations in Franklin, except Hess, Eskilson said anecdotally, he particularly saw Hess in Newton, and, the Quick Chek in Lafayette had reopened. Both, he noted, were very crowded.
As for the question hovering on many municipal Facebook Pages about trick-or-treating festivities tonight, the county has indicated on the 9:00 a.m. update on its website this morning, “Governor Christie cancels Trick or Treating until further notice.”
Click here for the Governor's Executive Order, which indicates it is permitted statewide on November 5.
“If he [Gov. Christie] says it, that’s it,” Eskilson said.
Some municipalities, including Hamburg, and Vernon Police had posted directives about Halloween on their Facebook Pages. (click here for Hamburg, which indicated it lifted the borough State of Emergency, and said trick-or-treating was permitted in town, except for Hillside Drive, High Street, and Mulberry Streets, and have now rescinded its statement about Halloween and posted "Residents, please be advised that the Borough of Hamburg has opted to cancel Halloween for this date (10/31/12). It has been rescheduled for Saturday (11/03/12)," and Vernon, which indicated on its Facebook Page, Halloween festivities will be on Saturday). The Town of Newton’s annual Halloween Parade, sponsored by the fire department, is postponed until further notice as well, per the town website.
Sparta Township Police Department said on its Facebook Page, “Officials for The Township of Sparta have determined that the conditions for door-to-door trick or treating activities are too dangerous. Accordingly, customary outdoor Halloween activities are discouraged until conditions improve sufficiently to allow for a fun and safe experience for the children. An alternate date will be suggested after repairs and restoration have progressed to a point where it is safe to celebrate Halloween.”
“Roads and sidewalks are still dangerous,” Eskilson said. “People have to take precautions for the safety of their children.”
However, with the buzz among residents about trick-or-treating, Eskilson said, “That’s a sign of things of things potentially returning to normal."
Numbers have dropped in customers without power in the JCP&L service area for Sussex County.
As of the count by JCP&L at 10:38 a.m., 49,106, or 85 percent of the county, are still without power. That is a drop from last night, when 50,284 were tallied, or 87 percent of customers.
According to the detailed First Energy outage map, the entire county is still experiencing outages, at varying degrees. The Sparta, Byram, and Hopatcong areas of the county, are dealing with the most severe, with more than 5,001 or more customers out.
Figures are as follows from earlier this morning, and, are consistently being updated:
- Andover Borough: 460
- Andover Township: 2,732
- Byram Township: 3,536
- Frankford Township: 2,111
- Franklin Borough: 1,584
- Fredon Township: 1,363
- Green Township: 1,434
- Hamburg Borough: 738
- Hampton Township: 1,965
- Hardyston Township: 1,282
- Hopatcong Borough: 6,530
- Lafayette Township: 809
- Montague Township: 1,625
- Town of Newton: 2,004
- Ogdensburg Borough: 532
- Sandyston Township: 1,158
- Sparta Township: 8,298
- Stanhope Borough: 1,661
- Stillwater Township: 2,154
- Vernon Township: 2,396
- Walpack Township area: 143
- Wantage Township: 1,692
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative’s Tom Tate of Marketing & Member Services tweeted this morning 4,900 members are still without power, down from last night’s 6,984. The company’s objective, he added, is to have all members restored by Friday, November 2.
Some municipal updates:
Hamburg Borough Police: The police department which previously posted on its Facebook Page Mayor Paul Marino will lift Hamburg’s State of Emergency at noon today, and Halloween is to take place as scheduled. The mayor has asked residents not to trick-or treat on Hillside Drive, High Street, and the upper half of Mulberry Street, has rescinded its directive about Halloween, and has now posted, "Residents, please be advised that the Borough of Hamburg has opted to cancel Halloween for this date (10/31/12). It has been rescheduled for Saturday (11/03/12)." Eskilson stated, as noted above, residents should follow the Governor's directives, which indicate trick-or-treating is suspended statewide today.
Hardyton Township Police: The police department on its Facebook Page has not posted an update about trick-or-treating, has told the public they cannot answer questions about schools (determined when the power is on, and area is safe), and Route 515 (Stockholm Vernon Road), Wheatsworth Road, Sandpond Road, Deerfield Dr. (in the area of 37-39), Holland Mountain Road, and Lake Shore Road East/Lake Tamarack are still closed.
Town of Newton – On the town’s website, it has indicated in addition to the Halloween Parade sponsored by the Newton Fire Department being postponed; road closures on Plainfield Avenue and Carriage Lane until further notice. Click here for complete details.
Sparta Township Police: On Facebook, "All residents are urged to stay off the roads. Driving on closed roadways or unnecessarily traveling during restoration efforts are delaying the utility company's ability to make repairs and putting you at risk of injury or death. 97% of our town is without power. Children should not be out trick or treating as public safety and restoration is a priority." Sparta Township Schools are also closed tomorrow, Thursday, November 1.
Vernon Township Police: The police department indicated on Facebook, “Canistear Road has reopened. The State Park entrance will close. All other road closures remain in effect.” Other road closures the department listed include: CR 515, Vernon Crossing, and Lake Walkill Road.
“It’s still going to be a long haul,” Eskilson concluded. “Hopefully though, there will be more positive reports as the day rolls along.”
Continue to follow The Alternative Press for post-storm coverage, and The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page for news and information.