SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – As night has fallen, and the sound of the howling wind, pounding rain, blowing trees, and screaming sirens have become more prevalent, power outages have sharply increased in Sussex County over the last few hours.
Hurricane Sandy’s status has also changed, in the midst of the storm, as it has officially made landfall.
“Sandy becomes post-tropical, i.e. a nor’easter, while still off the coast of NJ,” tweeted Gary Szatkowski, of the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly, N.J. “No hurricane landfall for NJ.”
The National Weather Service still classifies Sandy as a dangerous storm, and, as a post-tropical or wintertime cyclone (also known as extratropical or frontal low), the energy comes from temperature contrasts, and is distributed over larger areas.
Sussex County Administrator, John Eskilson, said, “It’s not good in general,” though he did indicate the infrastructure is not as affected at the moment, as it was with Hurricane Irene last year.
However, Eskilson noted, the storm is not over yet. And, county crews have been pulled off of work details for safety reasons for now.
“The winds are 35 miles per hour, with some pretty serious gusts,” Eskilson said. “It’s not safe for them to be out clearing debris.”
Citizens are still recommended to be off of the roads, and Eskilson said, “For the most part, people are off of the road.”
Eskilson received a report of a motor vehicle accident in Vernon, but said he is unsure of the injuries, or extent of damages.
Power outages are the pressing issue right now, and crews are unable to work, due to the dangerous conditions.
“It’s extremely widespread,” said Eskilson, with JCP&L reporting approximately 25,000 outages in Sussex County, and, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative 3,000.
In terms of percentages, 75 percent of Sparta Township, which has been impacted the worst, is without power. Other percentages include: Green Township (80%), Hardyston Township (65%), Lafayette Township (40%), and Stillwater Township (100%).
Some color-coding on the JCP&L outage map
indicates Sparta Township has an excess of 5,000 customers currently without power.
The present statistics of JCP&L customers without power are:
Andover Borough: 52
Fredon Township: 337
Andover Township; 1,665
Byram Township: 288
Franklin Borough: 423
Frankford Township: 1,388
Fredon Township: 307
Green Township: 1,143
Hamburg Borough: 188
Hardyston Township: 1,683
Hampton Township: 1,224
Hopatcong Borough: 367
Lafayette Township: 321
Montague Township: 1,290
Ogdensburg Borough: 516
Town of Newton: 560
Sandyston Township: 1,150
Sparta Township: 6,690
Stanhope Borough: 342
Stillwater Township: 2,201
Vernon Township: 833
Walpack Township area: 1,143
Wantage Township: 1,279
Hamburg Borough Police posted on its Facebook Page
, “Please be advised that we have received notification that JCP&L has removed their crews from the field as the wind speeds have become too intense. They will not continue restoration efforts until the storm has passed. Residents are still encouraged to report their power outages to the company.”
Call Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative to report outages at: (877) 504-6483
The list of county road closures has increased (click here
to view) and currently includes:
Andover Township: Route 623 (Mulford Road to Pierce Road)
Frankford Township Route 521 and 633 (Mountain Road to Route 206; Sharp Road to 206)
Fredon Township Route 610 (Kohlbacker Road to Fredon Marksboro Road)
Green Township Route 608 (Ridge Road, Fredon and Green)
Hampton Township: Route 521 and 626 (Frank Chandler Road to Route 626; Route 521 to 627)
Hopatcong Borough: Route 605 (Railroad to Maple)
Montague Township: Route 650 (Adams Lane to New Road)
Sparta Township: Route 613 (Maple to Hilltop)
Stillwater Township: Route 617 (Fairview Lake Road to Possum Hill Road; Route 521 to 627)
Vernon Township: Route 517 and 644 (near Route 94; Route 94 to Church Street)
Route 521 (County Road 633 to Mountain Road 617)
Route 630 (Fox Hill Road to Main Street)
Earlier today, President Barack Obama signed the New Jersey Emergency Declaration, according to FEMA
Click here for previous articles by The Alternative Press.
Sussex County Prepares For The Possible ‘Perfect Storm’
Sussex County And Municipalities Gear Up For Hurricane Sandy; Ask Residents To 'Make Your Preparations Now'
New Jersey Braces For Hurricane Sandy; What A State Of Emergency Means For Residents
Governor Christopher Christie Encourages New Jersey Schools To Close Monday; Many Universities and Local Schools Announce Closures
Sussex County Office of Emergency Management Issues Proclamation of County Emergency Due To Hurricane Sandy
Sussex County Opens Up Emergency Shelter If Needed For Its Residents During Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy Classified A 'Very Dangerous Hurricane' By National Weather Service
Sussex County Residents Experiencing Effects Of Hurricane Sandy; Residents Facing Power Outages
Continue to follow The Alternative Press for coverage on the storm, and The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page for news and information.