Thousands Of NJ Customers Should Have Power Back By Week’s End

TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Frustrated utility customers in New Jersey will likely have to endure a few more days in the dark after last weekend’s freak snowstorm. Utility crews said power should be restored by Thursday or Friday.

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On the streets of Teaneck, dangerously low power lines could be seen strewn across roads, which are also littered with tree branches. Reporting from MOBILE 2, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan said cars could “barely make it through” the streets because of downed power lines and fallen trees on top of cars.

Like so many places throughout north Jersey, many homes in the area were made unlivable because of storm damage.

“The trees were down, they got up a lot of the branches yesterday, and also today, but the power’s out. So the house is freezing,” Simone Shubrick told CBS 2’s Derrick Dennis.

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David and Denise Simpson ended up sharing the celebration of their 20-year wedding anniversary with their daughter, Joy, as well as a crowd of other storm victims and their children — packed into the hotel bar.

“It’s been a fair amount of laughs, and we’ve made the most out of a challenging situation. We’ve made lemonade out of lemons as they say,” the couple said.

Inside John Tuttle’s Teaneck home, he and his wife were keeping the house warm with the burners on the stove — something that is not advised.  After four days without power, their only way of getting news is a small radio.

Tuttle’s street, Belle Avenue, which means ‘beautiful’ in French, wasn’t looking so pretty with trees and power lines littering the roadway.

“Our Pattio umbrella was snapped in half and we have a little damage to our fence,” said Christine Devito.

Inside her home, Devito had to trash most of the food in the fridge.

“I’ve got some cheese and eggs on ice — hopefully get another day out of those,” she said, adding she was using candles for light and keeping warm by staying close to her dogs.

“We huddled by the fire place last night.  We borrowed some firewood from our neighbors, which was very nice of them,” Devito said.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

Meanwhile, NJ TRANSIT service was restored Tuesday for Morris and Essex line, including the Gladstone Branch and the Montclair-Boonton line.

Morris & Essex Line service remains suspended between Hackettstown and Lake Hopatcong and systemwide cross-honoring remains in effect, the agency said.

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Service had been suspended since Saturday after damage to the tracks from downed trees and power lines.

The storm caused extensive damage to many other areas of the Garden State, including Montclair, where once picturesque neighborhoods have been reduced to potentially dangerous obstacle courses.

It’s been a big job for road and utility crews, who are stringing up new power lines and replacing telephone poles brought down during this weekend’s storm.

“I had no idea it could break like that and I was fearful that it might fall on someone,” said Montclair resident Keith Wiggs.

While some Montclair residents have had their power restored, many have not.

“The house is just too cold, it’s unbelievably cold,” said Montclair resident Shazia Zaidi. “We’re trying to find accommodation, we can’t find anything right now.”

In Madison, the problem is bigger. The entire borough lost power.

“Four major corporations, two universities and 16,000 residents,” said Mayor Mary-Anna Holden.

Seniors there evacuated from their frigid homes by the volunteer ambulance squad and are now staying warm at the local shelter.

“They certainly did come and get me, it was wonderful,” said Madison resident Charle Mae. “They were wonderful.”

Across the street, the police station is now a high-tech rest stop.

“Madison Police Department has been great, letting us come and charge our phones and laptops,” said Madison resident Lisa Lassiter. “We’re a community. We have to stick together.”

The weekend snowstorm also means additional spending at a time when states, counties and municipalities don’t have a lot of extra money sitting around.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Glenn Rock Mayor John Van Keuren has lived in Glen Rock for 70 years and says he’s never seen anything like this.

“I haven’t seen as much stuff down, trees, limbs, wires,” he said.

Van Keuren says the damage from the storm is a public safety issue and the public works department will do whatever it has to regardless of the cost.

“If you have to cut other budgets here and there, that’s what you do,” he said.

The mayor insists he will not raise taxes.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond In Essex County

The powerless have been commiserating over coffee at the Livingston Diner, jam-packed for every meal since Saturday night. Owner George Apostolopulos says it’s unbelievable.

“Some kind of different experience [than] we ever had before,” he said.

Betty and Charles Rubin came for lunch after spending the night at a local shelter.

“I felt like a homeless person,” Betty told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

“Very difficult sleeping. The cot’s uncomfortable. The heat going on and off was loud. They’re operating on a generator also because the high school has no power,” Charles said.

Please share your thoughts below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Suzanne says:

    I live in Mississippi and was effected by Hurricane Katrina. We were without power and water for 12 days. Luckily we had propane, so we were able to cook. I know while you are in the middle of things, it is awfully inconvenient. An attitude of gratitude will improve your mood and everyone around you. In order to get through those 12 days, I figured electricity and running water are relatively recent inventions compared to the hundreds of years prior to that. How did man cope prior to that? If they could do it their entire lives, I could certainly do it for a few days. After all, I’ve got character. Give your utilty workers a break and a well-deserved thanks. They are working their butts off to get your lights back on and don’t need to be yelled at and criticized. As for the trees and branches, get real. A storm came through your area. A magic wand cannot be passed through by the public works fairy and have it all disappear. It takes hard work and there is only so much each person can do in one day. Tell these people how much you appreciate the work they are doing for you and stop complaining. Be part of the solution and help clean up some of the mess. They didn’t cause the storm.

  2. Tony Algren says:

    The cost of burying all the power lines across the nation would be so expensive that Utility customers would not pay for it. Like it or not in emergencies such as this it is becoming increasingly apparent that the welfare of you and your loved ones will be up to the individual.

  3. Adele Lightner says:

    WHAT I CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS THIS, WHY AREN’T TREES TRIMMED, AND WHY DOES THE UTILITY COMPANY WAIT UNTIL DISASTER HAPPENS, RATHER THAN USE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE. BUT MOST OF ALL, WOULD IT NOT BE MORE PRACTICAL TO HAVE UNDERGROUND WIRING, THEN THE UGLY POLES STICKING OUT. BUT, IF THEY INSIST OF KEEPING IT THE WAY IS IS RIGHT NOW, WHY NOT THINK OF A WAY TO MAKE THOSE ELECTRICAL POLES MORE SOLID, LIKE, CEMENTING THEM INTO THE GROUND, PUT SUPPORTS AROUND THE POLE. ANYTHING OTHER THAN HAVING TO DO WITHOUT ELECTRICITY FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. Lastly, the utility company should always have enough workers in place to fix the problem for their customers in the most expedient ways. Airlines are now charged for leaving clients in discomfort for too long, why not do the same for utility companies; they have no incentive to fix the job faster.

    1. Morris Bergen says:

      You’re suggesting having thousands of workers on standby at all times, getting paid for doing nothing, “just in case” there might be a huge storm. Are YOU willing to pay for that?

    2. Peter says:

      your in the wrong business !!!! You should run for President !!!

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