[UPDATED 6:30 P.M.]
Livingston Township Manager Michele Meade said late Wednesday no roads in the township are impassable but some streets have barriers in place and people may have to go a bit out of their way to get where they want to go.
Meade praised townships departments including the public works and police for their nonstop efforts to return township life to normal.
“These guys are amazing,” she said, “ They’re doing what they have to do under trying conditions to get the job done.”
Much like last October’s nor’easter, the township is using wooden barriers to prevent traffic from going down certain streets and residents are reaching destinations by going slightly out of their way to get there.
“No section is any worse off than any other,” Meade said.
Life in the township is slowly returning to normalcy with businesses opening and supermarkets working through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Meade said most traffic signals around the township are out, but the township has put township-owned generators on both state and county roads to keep traffic signals working.
She said the township is providing gas for the generators so traffic can keep moving smoothly.
Meade said both ShopRite and Kings are open in the township. ShopRite has been open since Monday, but Kings is open, just not selling perishables.
The shelter at Livingston High School remains open until people won’t need it anymore.
The shelter provides light, heat and recharging stations for laptops and cell phones, Meade said, as well as a place for families to spend time together where they can play games and feel safe.
[posted 3:15 p.m.]
Livingston Mayor Stephen Santola said Wednesday afternoon the township is working nonstop to restore power to residents throughout the township.
Santola also announced late Wednesday afternoon district schools in the township are closed for Thursday, Nov. 1. A decision on schools for Friday will be made at a later time.
The township office of emergency management has been meeting twice a day every day and focusing on getting power back, Santola said.
“We’ve been pressing the PSE&G and JCP&L teams in the field,” Santola said, “ to get them to restore power.”
He said the township has been trying to get power back to the first responders – fire, police and town hall buildings – since they are currently on generators.
“The DPW (Department of Public Works) has taken down many trees and limbs throughout the township,” Santola said, and they’ve been trying to open up passageways.”
He praised DPW employees, saying the department has been working nonstop and sleeping at the DPW headquarters overnight before going back out to work again.
One problem the township is experiencing, he said, is if a tree falls with live wires, the DPW can’t touch it.
“We have to follow through with PSE&G or JCP&L and they have to shut the power down,” Santola said. Once the power is shut down, he added, the township can do work and the electric provider can re-string the power line.
Councilman Michael Rieber said at one point Tuesday night, the township shelter in the athletic center of Livingston High School had 100 people there.
“Most people came to the shelter to charge their laptops, charge their phones,” Rieber said.
Many of the people seeking shelter didn’t bother staying after their devices were charged or they got warmed up, he said.
Overall, he said, about 45 people did stay overnight at the high school.
Santola said the Livingston School district had not made a decision on whether classes would resume Thursday as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
He also cautioned residents to call the PSE&G or JCP&L and not Livingston Police if they lose power.
Patch will update this story when more information becomes available.