CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: Dumont residents are growing angrier over the delays in having power restored, especially after seeing neighboring New Milford back on line earlier today. “Still waiting for power,” Diane Walters wrote. “[W]ould be nice to get home from work today to find it on. I have lost A LOT of food.”
UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): Bergen County sustained $20 million in flood damage that will be covered by federal disaster funds, county officials said today. “We’re ahead of this. The worst is over,” County Emergency Management Coordinator Dwane Razzetti reassured a countywide conference call of local officials anxious about more Passaic River flooding. Executive Kathleen Donovan also corrected “pure sensationalism” media reports. READ MORE….
Walters was among many upset with PSE&G, which saw its New Milford substation — directly below the Oradell Reservoir — flooded during the weekend storm.
“It all starts with the grid’s disadvantaged geographical location within the path of the cresting river,” resident Rene Ruiz wrote on Mayor Matthew P. McHale’s Facebook page. “It couldn’t be any more poorly situated.”
“This is the fourth time we have lost power in 18 months. I am only counting the times that is has been days,” added Megan Ridolfi, whose electricity returned around 8 this morning. “I am in for a petition. Who puts a substation near a river?”
Rhett Bassett called for a long-term solution: “[T]his is the second time in 2 years [I]‘m without power for more than 2 days and have to throw away a bunch of food.”
The good news in North Jersey is that both the Hackensack and Ramapo rivers are continuing to recede. The bad news: We’re in for a mini heat wave, with temperatures rising today and hitting the mid- to upper-80s tomorrow — which spells even more grief for an area of Bergen County that is already both flooded and without power.
To better understand their frustration, consider that more than 10,000 customers in just those three towns were without power as of 4 a.m., according to PSE&G figures (that doesn’t include those who had power restored late Monday). The rest of Bergen County: fewer than 50,000.
At one point, PSE&G said residents might have to wait until Sunday.
The outlook was better in New Milford, where most of the power had been restored by 11 this morning. Oradell Avenue and New Milford Avenue, along with River Edge Avenue and New Bridge Road, are open — as are Holland, Lenox, and Washington avenues and River Road, Police Chief Frank Papapietro reports. Columbia and Harvard streets are open but with minor flooding, he said.
However, other towns are still struggling mightily. The Wayne mall known as Willowbrook remained closed today.
“I wish people would stop saying Irene was nothing and New Jersey was spared,” Dorothy Cook DiPiazza of Fair Lawn told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “I have NEVER seen flooding like this in 40 years of my life. This is not good.”
McHale, the Dumont mayor, has kept residents and business owners in his town updated via his Facebook page. Yesterday, he opened Borough Hall to those who needed to recharge — literally.
The “Dumont Recharging Center” will remain open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, tomorrow and Thursday (and longer, if necessary) at Borough Hall, where residents and business owners can charge cell phones, iPods, laptops, and other portable devices.
“Outlets are available in the main corridor, the Executive Conference Room, and Council Chambers,” McHale said. “If arriving prior to 4:30 p.m., please check in with the Borough Clerk’s office; if after 4:30 p.m. check in with the Dumont Police Department front desk located on the ground floor.”
It was a small measure of solace, given how upset he, borough residents and business owners are with PSE&G. Meanwhile, McHale — who has deemed the utility’s response “unacceptable” — has advised residents to stay with family. Police are out and about, protecting the community.
He also provided a list of: What to do — and what not to do — during a blackout
McHale added a footnote: “It’s not lost on me that those residents [who] need to read this can’t because they don’t have power to get to the Internet. I ask those resident who do and are reading this to call their friends and neighbors who can benefit from this announcement. Thanks!”
MORE (CLICK ON HEADLINES TO READ):
CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: The good news in North Jersey is that both the Hackensack and Ramapo rivers are continuing to recede. The bad news: We’re in for a mini heat wave, with temperatures rising today and hitting the mid- to upper-80s tomorrow — which spells even more grief for an area of Bergen County that is already both flooded and without power.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Massive power outages and flooding will likely continue past midnight tonight, as New York runoff swells the already overflowing Hackensack River, Pascack Brook and area reservoirs, making an already bad situation much worse, Bergen County leaders told mayors and other government officials during a 15-minute emergency conference call this afternoon.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT STORM COVERAGE: Tropical Storm Irene staggered toward Boston after leaving several North Jersey towns without power into the mid-afternoon, streets flooded with water up to five feet high and a torrent literally pouring up the aisle of St. John’s Church in Hillsdale. Bergen County police are setting up in Washington Township, where a CO leak sent two people to the hospital. Meanwhile, investigators are examing why a Hillsdale gas station nearly went up in flames, injuring two firefighters.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: Bergen County Police are establishing a command post at the Washington Township firehouse after a police sergeant and a firefighter working as a dispatcher were hospitalized following a buildup of carbon monoxide in a pooly ventilated room, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: A police officer headed down a dark street in his radio car cheated death — by an instant.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT has an amazing array of photos from FDU grad Jayme Lisiewski, who has been on top of the storm out of Hoboken since the first clouds rolled in. These include shots from Hoboken Terminal, Waterfront Park and several streets in town.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: Arson investigators were at the Valero gas station on Broadway in Hillsdale, where two local firefighters suffered minor injuries extinguishing a pre-dawn blaze while being pounded with rain and wind.