Livingston Officials Urge Caution In Post-storm Cleanup

Livingston municipal workers are clearing streets as the power company restores electricity. The public library re-opens, but schools and the senior center remain closed.

Much of the snow has melted in Livingston, but the post weekend storm cleanup remains in full sway. 

Driving around was hazardous because broken tree limbs and hanging wires could be found down many roadways. Electrical crews were seen driving around the township fixing broken lines and restoring power block-by-block, and the municipal building went back on full power late Monday afternoon.

Township Business Administrator Michele Meade said she believes downed trees are a problem throughout the township and all Department of Public Works employees are working hard on clearing streets. 

"Just be patient with us because it will take time to get there," Meade said.

She advised residents clearing their properties to put debris on their yards instead of the street so it would not interfered with traffic safety.

The emergency shelter the township set up at Livingston High School's new fitness and wellness center will remain open to the public "as long as its needed," Meade said. 

Mayor Rudy Fernandez said the township received an unprecedented number of calls about fallen trees and he thanked all of the municipal employees and volunteers for their dedication and doing "an outstanding job."

"Hopefully in the next day or two, we get back to where we were before the storm and figure out where to send all the branches to," he said. 

Township officials postponed Halloween trick-or-treating to Friday because of safety issues, and Fernandez encouraged residents to welcome the trick-or-treaters on Nov. 4 as if it were the actual holiday.

Library re-opens, schools and senior center still closed

The Livingston Public Library re-opened at 10 a.m. today following two days of blackout closures, according to Judith Kron, the library's executive director. 

But the Livingston public schools are closed on Tuesday and the students will have classes on Election Day to make up for the closure.

A decision has not been made yet about whether schools will stay closed on Wednesday, Jessica Ganz Lipper, the district's communications and community outreach manager wrote in an e-mail Tuesday morning. 

The Livingston Senior Community Center was also closed for another day due to a power outage, according to the township website.

Power restoration update

Public Service Electric & Gas said the company restored power to 83 percent of its customers and it is down to about 98,000 customers who are still without power, according to a press update sent out on Tuesday morning and a posting on the company's Twitter page

PSE&G said it was working "around the clock until all customers have power" and the company expects to meet its goal of having at least 95 percent of its customers restored to power by Thursday. 

The company did not provide a town-by-town breakdown of where power outages still occurred, although it did mention that Essex, Bergen and Passaic counties were the most affected communities. The company's Internet power outage map was temporarily unavailable Tuesday morning. 

The Jersey Central Power and Light Internet power outage map listed 1,628Livingston residents without power as of noon today.

Reporting power outages and related problems

PSE&G advised the public to stay away from any broken wires and report problems and power outages to 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).

To report a power outage to JCP&L, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).

Joyce Gore November 01, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Haven't seen any trucks in our area for days. Wires still down as well as trees. I believe that there are still many neighborhoods without power. It is very frustrating that the township doesn
Joyce Gore November 01, 2011 at 07:10 PM
The township should give us an indication what areas they are working on. I still have many friends all over town still without power
albiehere2 November 01, 2011 at 10:32 PM
It would be nice to know so we know when to go back home...
wetochwink November 02, 2011 at 12:32 PM
Ms. Meade now wants debris away from curb and street. DPW says they will pick up debri from town trees if left at the curb. Perhaps a better communication to residents would be in order since we have no idea when to expect DPW pick up? Clear communication phone, email, Patch - residents can be a source of help in this situation (safely) to get neighborhoods back in shape.
Ann November 02, 2011 at 01:03 PM
so sad that a town that spends a ton of money on a brand new municipal building can't find the funds or manpower to get a town up and running. bad enough the side streets werent plowed but they didnt even put salt down. so now we have down trees, icey side roads, no power and no school. AND it took 3 days for the township to send automated calls from the police department on the status of the situation. glad my tax dollars are being spent well.
Tom Measday November 02, 2011 at 01:24 PM
83% back up sound like a politican talking. In our Burnet Hill neighborhood 0% have gotten their electric service back. No sign of any PSE & g on this side of town
Thirty Four November 02, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Agreed that they should use the reverse call to annoce about debri pickup. More of my thoughts are in the comment section of the article below: http://livingston.patch.com/articles/livingston-schools-close-for-third-day
Thirty Four November 02, 2011 at 02:06 PM
Still, we should open a discussion to evaluate the town's response to the disaster in our town which happens to be one of the hardest hit towns in NJ: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/while_nj_power_companies_work.html
theLtowninformant November 02, 2011 at 04:59 PM
i saw members of the fire dept clearing the street where i live. all they said they were doing was making the roads passable for a fire truck, and the dpw would be back to remove everything. thank god for the fire dept atleast someone cares about our safety more then the dpw.
Bill Buckbee November 02, 2011 at 05:51 PM
We've all heard "Water and Electricity don't mix", Right? Salt makes water conduct electricity much better. Road salt is the frequent cause of manhole explosions in NYC when the water and road salt mix and find their way into the underground equipment.
Bill Buckbee November 02, 2011 at 06:10 PM
I was an emergency service volunteer for over 25 years. I also have a pretty good basic understanding of power distribution. There is no way to have enough resources in place to handle a disaster of this magnitude quickly. We could not afford to keep the thousands of people involved ready and waiting for this type of situation. Because the local resources are all handling their own areas crews need to me mobilized from as far away as Alabama. Just the logistics of coordinating the response teams is a monumental task. It takes time to put these crews and equipment together and then that have to drive 8, 10 or 12 hours to get there. At that point the first thing they need to do is sleep as they are too tired to start splicing live wires in wet slippery conditions. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of downed wires in every community. It will take a good deal of time to accomplish a full restoration. If you see a utility worker, take a second to thank them for working as hard as they are. For those of you who lose power for a few minutes here or there it may be that it had to be turned off for a few minutes to make a critical splice to bring a neighborhood back up. Some connections just can't be made while the circuits are live. For those who were upset about the tree trimming that was being done a while back to clear branches away from power lines this is a perfect example of why it needs to be done.
frustratedwithlivingston November 02, 2011 at 06:57 PM
How many times do they, DPW & JCP&L, have to drive up my street looking at things before they fix it? I counted town trucks 6 times and JCP&L 4 times. I can't wait to switch power companies, oh what's that, I don't really have a choice do I? It's a monopoly, which is why they do not care when they get your power back on, you have no choice but to use them, plus they are guaranteed a profit anyway, just another reason they could care less about if you freeze to death in your house. JCP&L says the are giving away free ice and water, who needs ice when it is this cold in your house?
Karen Samiec November 02, 2011 at 07:08 PM
New Townhall and Police Buildings without backup generators. WOW! Big mistake. No co-ordination in this town. No power since last Saturday and no information on plan if any to restore. Where is Town Manager? .
Thirty Four November 02, 2011 at 08:39 PM
As of 4:24PM today, 1,067 JCP&L customers in Livingston are still without power. As of 4:15PM between 2,001 and 5,000 PSE&G customers are without power. Note for PSE&G, Montclair, Newark, and Verona are the only cities for the entire PSE&G territory that still have similar number of affected customers as our town.
Thirty Four November 02, 2011 at 08:42 PM
I should say, "As of 4:15PM, between 2,001 and 5,000 PSE&G customers in Livingston..."
Bill Buckbee November 03, 2011 at 12:27 AM
Town Hall and Police do have emergency power. I believe Fire Headquarters also has emergency power. When the Board of Ed built the new Fitness & Wellness Center (fancy name for a gym) they had the forethought to include emergency power which allowed it to function as a shelter for residents without power or heat. The town sent out a mass email advising of the availability of the shelter facilities midday on Sunday. How many towns can say they have a shelter with emergency power that can handle such a large number of people?
L. Klonsky November 03, 2011 at 01:33 AM
While I applaud the efforts of those around town who are trying to clean up and am extremely grateful to those friends and acquaintances who helped us get through the power outage, I agree that PSEG could have been far more generous with the information. They told me on Saturday that they would "investigate" the power outage & get back to me by Wednesday. Then they told me they'd have the problem fixed - no lie - by December 3rd. A large company that is well-familiar with power outages should have a better system in place to keep people informed. (Oh, and to my children who scooped water around the clock with my husband and I for days to keep the basement from flooding, I am SO proud of you!).
Thirty Four November 03, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Which area is that for December 3rd?
Thirty Four November 03, 2011 at 04:05 AM
To echo Bill Buckbee's point, our own shelter at LHS gym became more than helpful when the Codey Arena (the usual place for Essex county shelter) was in itself out of power.


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