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).

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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