Livingston Plagued By Power Outages

West Northfield Road remains closed between the Traffic Circle and Hillside Avenue.

School has been cancelled Wednesday and the township is not sure if Halloween will be postponed.

With all the power outages and sporadic road closures, Police Chief Craig Handschuch said late Tuesday, "Even if Halloween isn't cancelled, we strongly discourage people from going out."

Residents are welcome to take shelter at Livingston High School, where about 40 people arrived as of late Tuesday. However, the shelter was running low on bedding and snacks, so residents are encouraged to bring a sleeping bag and their own food.

On Tuesday, power crews from as far away as Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee are responding to a staging area in Livingston to fan out and try to restore power to the area.

Handschuch said township officials are trying to use portable generators to keep some traffic lights working. "We have multiple side streets are out."

School district announced Livingston Public Schools would remain closed, "Livingston Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, October 31, due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the lost of power in most schools. All school and community activities in school buildings are canceled," was a statement issued by district spokeswoman Marilyn Lehren.

Certain roads were not passable on Tuesday - East Hobart Gap Road was closed with a tree across the roadway and there were no working lights on South Orange Aveue. The chief's advise to residents was this, "Stay home. . . if you have to go out, use extreme caution."

He said the power outages may not be restored for up to a week. On Tuesday, the Livingston Town Center and the Livingston Mall were both closed, though Saint Barnabas Medical Center remained open.

It was not immediately clear if schools would be closed on Wednesday.

Handschuch reported that up to five Livingston firefighters received minor injuries when a fire truck they were riding on rolled over. The firefighters were travelling on JFK Parkway around 11 p.m. Monday when the accident occurred. One firefighter may have received a broken shoulder, but additional information was not immediately known.

Livingston Dep. Mayor Rudy Fernandez said Livingston Township Hall and the police department are using a back up generator, but there are spots around town that still have power.

According to Fernandez, the ShopRite and Kings Supermarkets have power – one may be using a generator – and sections of Northfield Avenue have power.

Most of the schools are without power, but it is unclear if they will be closed on Wednesday. “We have been preparing long before the storm hit. We were well prepared. Something of this magnitude, you just can’t save every power line and transformer.”

“We been preparing long before the storm hit. We were well prepared. Something of this magnitude just can’t save every power line and transformer”

The town manager and Mayor Steve Santola have been involved in emergency management meetings. The first aid squad, firefighters and police officers worked Monday night to put out transformer fires and deal with downed power lines. “It’s up to the utility companies how fast we can get the power back online,” he said.


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