From the South Orange Office of Emergency Management, Tuesday October 30th 5pm.
Storm Information: Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest hurricanes to strike the New Jersey and the Northeast. Record storm surges combined with rainfall caused major coastal flooding throughout New Jersey. The National Guard was called in as well as emergency responders from surrounding states to help provide relief all over the state.
In South Orange, while flooding was minimal, high winds caused extensive damage from downed trees and downed power lines. The SOPD, FD and DPW were dispatched on more than 400 calls last night alone, between trees down on wires, blown transformers and more. At least 75 trees fell down across roadways and dozens on houses and power lines. If there is a private tree that has fallen on private property, the homeowner must arrange for the cleanup.
Roads: There are dozens of trees still down on houses and roads in South Orange. South Orange DPW crews worked through the night and continue to work hard to ensure that every road is accessible as soon as possible. The highest priority are roads which are blocked from access for emergency vehicles and the Village's busiest roads. The County has been notified for County assistance as well.
Power: Power lines are down all over the Village. Stay away from any downed wires. Call the South Orange Police Department immediately if you see a downed wire. Contact PSE&G directly to report your power being out as they cannot tell if your power is out automatically. They can be reached at 800-436-7734. As of 11am on Tuesday PSE&G reports 4,700 customers without power. There are 2.5 million New Jersey residents without power, approximately 1/3 of the entire state.
Transit: As of 11am, roads are open to non-emergency vehicles in South Orange. However, the Village strongly advises residents to stay at home, and use extreme caution if walking or driving is necessary as broken or hanging branches and downed wires pose significant safety concerns. As of Tuesday, NJ Transit service is suspended, check their website for more updates: http://njtransit.com
Water: State-wide flooding means that water supplies will run low. The Village is asking all residents to conserve as much water as possible - use only for drinking or medical reasons and conserve as much as possible if used for any other purposes.
Village Offices: Village offices will be open on Wednesday, October 31st. The school district and all of the schools in South Orange/Maplewood will be closed.
Important Storm Cleanup Procedures
- Leaves and debris/wood material must be in separate piles by the curb - Combining these items prevents them from being collected and slows the collection progress village-wide.
- No branches or wooded material can exceed 4" in diameter
- Private landscapers or contractors are not allowed to leave debris or leaves for the Village to pick up. They must arrange for disposal themselves.
- This process only starts once all of the roads are open - the Village's highest public works and public safety priority. We expect leaf/debris pickup will begin by the end of the week and weekend, check back at the website for updates.
Spooky Spiotta Park has been rescheduled for Friday from 4pm-6pm, with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses to immediately follow. A state of emergency still exists in the Village and until conditions have been deemed safe residents should not under any circumstances trick-or-treat with the exception of those Village sponsored events on Friday. Residential neighborhoods still have significant power line and tree hazards in addition to large amounts of debris in the road and on the sidewalks. Gusts of winds can knock branches or wires down that are still hanging in the air.
The South Orange Library is now open to the public from 2:00pm-9:00p.m on Tuesday. Normal operating hours will resume Wednesday. Feel free to drop-in to charge your phone or use the internet access.
The Main Lounge in the University Center at Seton Hall University will now serve as an Emergency Shelter for residents. This space also has power for electronic devices.
If you plan on utilizing the shelter or need assistance in getting there please call the South Orange Police Department at 973-763-3000. Plan to bring your own water, food and bedding.
There are multiple ways to get the latest information from the Village and other agencies:
- @SouthOrangeNJ on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SouthOrangeNJ
- Nixle: https://local.nixle.com/register/
- Call the Baird hotline for a pre-recorded message at 973 762 0748
- Village email/text/voice alerts: http://southorange.org/alerts
- Latest updates will be posted on http://southorange.org
- Bulletins have been placed on SOMAtv
- South Orange Patch
- Landline telephone via reverse 911. Ensure you check your home voice messages.
- Local email distribution lists. If you get an email, forward it to your neighbors.
If you need assistance do not hesitate to contact South Orange Police Department at 973 763 3000. For all emergencies dial 9-1-1. For power outages, contact PSE&G directly at: 800-436-7734.