A car crushed by a tree in Ogdensburg, by the post office. Credits: Brian Thomas
A line about a mile long waiting for gas in Ogdensburg. Credits: Brian Thomas
A home in Newton with its fencing knocked down by the hurricane. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
A sign posted yesterday alerting residents the Halloween festivities were cancelled in Newton. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
PB&J Stores in Newton, posted a sign, "If we are closed, it's her fault." The store reopened today. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Chrissy O Designs, with windows taped up. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
At County Road 610 heading to Stillwater, at Fredon-Marksboro Road, vehicles proceed past the "Road Closed" sign. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Post-Hurricane Sandy Sussex County Evening Update For November 1
Thursday, November 1, 2012 • 5:50pm
SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – Residents throughout the county are continuing to muddle through post Hurricane Sandy issues. Some gas stations are opened, and may close, if they run out. Residents are waiting on long lines, and being rationed at $10 increments, in many cases, comparing their experiences to the long gas lines of the 1970’s.
Tammie Horsfield, President of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, stated in an email to chamber members: ”Regarding the gasoline shortages in the area, I have been notified that approximately 51 percent of our gas stations are out of power. While there is plenty of gas production, there seems to be logistic issues in transporting the gas to available stations. It is anticipated to take approximately one week before gas stations begin receiving normal deliveries.”
While around the area today, The Alternative Press of Sussex County saw Lukoil in Newton, once again was open, with residents able to fill up, but with a long line and wait onto lower Spring Street. A resident on The Alternative Press of Sussex County Facebook Page posted that in Sparta, “There is gas in two stations in Sparta, Shell on 181 and the small gas station across from the country club. “
Following that message, the Sparta Police Department indicated on its Facebook Page all stations with gasoline earlier in the township, have since run out.
There were other reports of gas at Exxon on Route 206 in Andover Township, which may only be accepting cash at times, credit at others.
GasBuddy.com is a website, which may show availability of gas stations within the county.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has provided information here on how to avoid scams, such as price gouging, as a result of the hurricane.
During a drive-through of certain towns within the county, The Alternative Press ventured to Fredon Township, where there are still many outages, including the traffic light at the intersection of Route 94 by the Fredon Township School.
In an attempt to head towards Stillwater Township, The Alternative Press found County Road 610 by Fredon-Marksboro Road closed. While photographing the scene, several cars bypassed the road closure signs, and drove around cones, in spite of county, and municipal directives to not drive down closed roads.
In Fredon Township, Kathy’s Restaurant, Fredon Deli, and J. Michael’s Pizzeria were open for business. In Downtown Newton, several of the shops are reopening for business, and many of the eateries. In Sparta, a reader reported Tanti Baci Caffe in Sparta is open, Cloveberry in Sparta also reported it now has power (no supplies yet, but will reopen Friday). SALT Gastropub in Byram indicated it has been clearing out refrigerators, has no power yet, and, is hoping for power, and deliveries to be open for dinner on Friday night.
Supermarkets open have included: Shop Rite and Weis in Newton, Stop & Shop in Sparta, and Shop Rite in Byram.
Power situation: as of 5:20 p.m., 40,768, or 71 percent of JCP&L residents are still without power; Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative said at 12:45 p.m. in its last update, 1,500 members were without power.
Halloween Festivities: Many municipalities have tentatively rescheduled their celebrations and trick-or-treating for Monday, November 5, per the Governor’s order, except for Vernon Township, which currently still has its celebration listed for Saturday, November 3.
Below are some updates from information available from municipalities around the county. Please note, some municipalities currently have no power, and are unable to provide updates at the current time.
County Level: According to the county website, all county offices will be operational tomorrow. Sussex County Transit will be limited and operational, due to road conditions, and ongoing issues. The Sussex County Clerk’s Office will have extended hours until 6 p.m. tomorrow for in-person voting, and also Sunday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, November 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Andover Township: On The Andover Township Police Department Facebook Page, Non-potable water is available at the Andover Township Municipal Building for Andover Township Residents. The municipal building remains closed until power is on. The Andover Regional School District is closed on Friday, November 2. The township reminds residents to keep generators distant from residences in order to avoid carbon monoxide fumes.
Byram Township: The township posted on its website, the municipal building is open for phone services, and there is no public access. Non-potable water is available at the Cranberry Lake Firehouse on Route 206, as is bottled water. Residents will need to bring their own containers for non-potable water. The township reminds residents to use caution around fallen trees, which may contain downed, and live electrical wires. The township has asked residents to avoid driving on closed roads for their own safety. Blue Diamond has picked up garbage in accessible areas, and, will pick up next on Tuesday, November 6.
Frankford Township: On Frankford Township’s Facebook Page, the township announced school is closed Friday, November 2. At 4:00 p.m., the township will have a conference call with JCP&L, and the Branchville substation is in the process of being repaired, the township said, a major reason for the outage. A resident posted on the page the Our Lady Queen of Peace classes at the Frankford School on November 3 are cancelled, and no confirmation class will be held on Sunday. Also, another resident posted the Frankford Plains United Methodist Church will be hosting a prayer service at 7:00 p.m., where there will be “song, prayer, warmth, and light.”
Hardyston Township: The Hardyston Township Police Department announced on its Facebook Page, both County Route 515, and Route 23 in Franklin, are open to traffic. A resident posted a group will be collecting donations at the Chase Bank parking lot in Franklin on Saturday, and Sunday, to help in the efforts, and is looking for toys, books, non-perishable items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, pillows, blankets, batteries, and flashlights. The collection will be Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to noon.
Hopatcong Borough: The borough is without power, and phones, per The Alternative Press article from earlier today. If residents are able, they can proceed towards Hopatcong High School, where the shelter is located. More information is available in the article.
Montague Township: The township has posted on its website, for immediate emergencies, residents should call the firehouse at: (973) 293-7441, or Montague Emergency Management at: (908) 319-1813.
Town of Newton: Newton Public Schools are closed. The school system indicated although power has returned to all schools, students in some areas have no power, and “transportation is impossible,” on some roadways. The Merriam Avenue School said if it has power, and students can return on Monday, they would have their Halloween Parade then, and parent-teacher conferences in the afternoon. Town of Newton Town Manager posted on his blog, portions of the town are without power, and may be for seven to 10 additional days. “Fuel for vehicles remains in very limited supply. Do not go out unless you have to. Many traffic lights are still out, so please treat every intersection as a four-way stop,” Russo wrote. Russo provided a link to Gas Buddy, which may have available stations, and prices. Russo said he will provide updates when available. The Town of Newton Halloween Parade has been officially rescheduled for Monday, November 5, at 6 p.m.
Ogdensburg Borough: On the borough’s Facebook Page, the borough announced The Ogdensburg Fire Department will be providing families without power a hot meal at their firehouse, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sparta Township: The township announced on its website, its offices are open, and non-potable water is available at town hall, at no cost to residents, and must be boiled before drinking. Those with medical devices are permitted to use town hall’s electrical outlets from 8:30 a.m., until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Contact the township manager’s office for more information, at: (973) 729-8485. Sparta Township Police Department has been consistently providing updates on its Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/sparta.police?fref=ts, and said Blue Diamond Disposal is suspending bulk metal pick-up and recycling, due to fuel shortages, but will resume regular garbage pick-ups as soon if roads are accessible. The department said Route 181 is now accessible by Signal Hill Trail. The police department also asked residents to turn off all major appliances until power is restored. Kiddie Academy of Sparta has power, and, is invited all Kiddie Academy Families to “camp out;” though they specify they have no shower, they have power, and coffee, and invite families to bring sleeping bags, and air mattresses.
Stanhope Borough: Rosemarie Maio, Stanhope Borough Mayor, posted this statement on the borough’s website: “Dear Stanhope Residents and Business Owners, While we experience what is expected to be a minimum 7 to 10 day recovery from the JCP&L power outage, please exercise extreme caution if you have to travel through the Borough. Fallen trees, branches and wet leaves make both driving and walking dangerous in some areas of town. The DPW is working feverishly to remove trees, branches and brush from Borough streets, but they cannot move forward with their efforts in cases where fallen wires are involved. Please be patient! If you are without heat and have nowhere to temporarily get warm - or if you need any other assistance as a result of the power outage - please contact the Stanhope Police at 973-347-4533. We will do our best to keep you as up-to-date with information about the power outage as we can. For now, the best we can do is exercise patience and help our neighbors in whatever ways we can. If you have elderly neighbors, please take a few minutes to check on them to be sure they are safe. Please stay safe.”
Vernon Township: The Vernon Township Police Department has been posting information on its Facebook Page about road closures, and more. Mayor Victor Marotta, also posted, “I just finished a long conversation with the representative from JCP&L. Their story is that the circuit from their Sussex substation is presently being cleaned and repaired and should have power within twenty four hours. The Lake Cozy substation which serves southeast Vernon is next. No further information is available at this time. Of course, any updates made available to me will be posted here immediately. At present most SREC customers have electricity. I implore all to remain calm in the face of these extreme conditions, and thank you for your patience.” The township also posted United Water has a boil water order for: Walnut Hill in Vernon Valley Lake, Sammis Road, Holderness Drive and Bethel Court, Highland Lakes “Year Round” system, Cliffwood Lake, and Sunset Ridge. Also, any Vernon residents needing to fill water containers, can go to the Vernon Firehouse on Route 515. Main Road closures in the township as of this morning included: Route 515 (now reopened), Vernon Crossing Road, Lake Wallkill Road (for local traffic only), and Main Street (will reopen when the traffic light is on). In spite of the Governor’s order for Halloween to be held on Monday, November 5, statewide, Vernon Township has not changed its celebration from Saturday, November 3. This has been met with mixed reactions from the residents, who have been responding on Facebook. “To all Vernon Residents, Clarification for Halloween: Even though Gov. Christie has announced Halloween be celebrated on November 5th, Vernon Township will celebrate Halloween on Saturday, November 3rd.”
Wantage Township: The township has posted on its website, the DPW will pick up branches on Wednesday, November 7. For basement floods, residents should call the Wantage Fire Department at: (973) 875-3771, or Colesville at (973) 875-5733.
Continue to follow The Alternative Press for continuing coverage on post Hurricane Sandy news, and The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page, for news and information.