SANDY DISPATCHES (8:30 p.m. update): Norwood had double trouble late today after Sandy’s high winds ripped the roof off a self-storage facility and a tree smashed through a passing car’s windshield, both on Livingston Street, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
The roof is laying in the middle of the street. Fortunately, no one was in the area at the time.
“It’s a lot of roof,” Norwood Police Chief Jeffrey Krapels told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “It can’t be moved right now.”
A short time earlier, a tree came down on Livingston and crashed through the windshield of a passing car.
The driver was taken to an area hospital with what Krapels described as “moderate injuries.”
Earlier, an elderly Fair Lawn woman was rushed to the hospital with severe head injuries after a tree fell on her Hillside Avenue house, trapping her inside.
Trees have also crashed into homes in Bogota, Hillsdale, Ridgewood, River Vale, Woodcliff Lake, Washington Township and elsewhere, and across roadways small and large.
This afternoon, a motorist was reported trapped in a car struck by a tree in Alpine. No word has been received yet on the victim’s condition.
DOT workers removed a tree that had fallen on Route 4 in Teaneck late this afternoon. Route 120 was closed in both directions after several utility poles fell a short time later.
Meanwhile, the Binghamton restaurant, already partially under water, is completely done for (PHOTO: Courtesy Red Mango, Edgewater). Officials in Edgewater have been urging residents in low-lying areas to evacuate.
ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: Firefighters had to stand by in the high winds tonight, waiting for PSE&G to respond and shut down the current, while a blaze burned at the abandoned Amloid Toy factory in Saddle Brook. Just after 10:30, a section of the roof collapsed. MORE….
Flooding was expected to worsen in Hoboken, where driving was banned at 4 o’clock. As of 7:30, more that two feet of water had spilled over the promenade between Newport City and the Hoboken train station.
Starting at 6 o’clock, Bergen County swift water rescue teams were being deployed “before there’s an emergency,” said county Police Chief Brian Higgins.
Those in higher altitudes — from Alpine and Tenafly to Cliffside Park, Fairview and North Bergen — were expected to get the worst of the winds.
A huge tree fell on power lines on Warren Road and Sanford Place in Fair Lawn around 4:30. The borough fire department was on scene.
Meanwhile, a fallen tree grazed a house in Ridgewood in the 500 block of East Saddle River Road, and a downed high tension wire triggered a small brush fire on Paramus Road near Kramer Drive in Paramus. READ MORE….
Power outages are spreading as Sandy, now officially a post-tropical cyclone, barrels in. An estimated 700,000 New Jerseyans were without power as of 7 p.m.
They include Gov. Christie, who moved his family to the governor’s mansion at Drumthwacket after their Mendham home went dark.
Norwood lost power around 7:10.
Regional shelters are open at Bergen Community College and the Lyndhurst Senior Center. Both can accommodate special needs and is domestic pet-friendly. Bring clothes, medications for yourself and/or family members, important documents, things to keep kids busy. If you bring a pet, have a carrier case or crate, leash, pet food, any medications, a water bowl and waste bags. For a county-by-county listing of shelters: nj211.org
Sandy’s winds have already hit 90 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory.
The top wind gusts in the state today, as reported by Rutgers University:
Atlantic City Marina: 77 mph
Harvey Cedars: 75 mph
Point Pleasant: 74 mph
High Pt. Monument: 73 mph
Sea Girt: 73 mph
Seaside Heights: 71 mph
The George Washington and Verrazano Narrows bridges have speed restrictions because of the winds. The New Jersey Turnpike extension bridge that leads from Bayonne to Newark is closed.
The Turnpike stretch from Exits 7A to 8 is also closed.
The pike’s speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph in both directions between the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Exit 12 in Carteret. Motorcycles and car-pulled trailers have been banned on the full length of the roadway.
The Garden State Parkway is closed in both directions south of Exit 129.
Then there’s the water.
Forecasters predict an 11.7-foot water surge around 9 o’clock tonight. Under the same circumstances, Hurricane Irene didn’t exceed 9.5 feet. Winds have already hit 90 mph as the center approaches the Jersey Shore.
The National Hurricane Center has warned of “life-threatening storm surge flooding” along the Jesey Shore and in New York Harbor. The center also said that Sandy’s winds “may not weaken.”
KEEP THESE NUMBERS HANDY (DON’T FORGET: 911 is for emergencies only and shouldn’t be used to check on power, phone or cable outages or to ask about road conditions.):
PSE&G Customer Service: 1-800-436-7734 Also: www.twitter.com/psegdelivers
United Water: 201-487-0011
Rockland Electric: (877) 434-4100
Optimum: (201) 262-8600
A section of what once was the Binghamton, the former Side Wheeler Korean restaurant, sunk into the mud in February (SEE: Side Wheeler taking on water) The rest of the ship began rapidly filling up earlier today.
The current owner had talked of reviving the Binghamton, long a Hudson River landmark that operated as a popular restaurant and disco, or the Side Wheeler. But he has had some difficulties with borough inspectors, and the recession pretty much put the kibosh on a revival.
The double-ended Binghamton, which shuttled passengers between Barclay Street in Manhattan and Hoboken from 1905 to 1967, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Following in the wake of Robert Fulton’s first steamboat, it may be the last surviving steam ferry built to serve New York Harbor still in the water.
The restaurant itself closed nearly five years ago, following what had once been a heyday of first rock and roll and then disco dancing on weekends, as well as meals on the deck overlooking Manhattan. Opened in 1975, “Binghamton’s” could be a great date destination, although there were also plenty of pickups in the nightclub.
Some may remember the brutal murder of its onetime owner, former New Jersey Assembly Speaker Nelson Gross, whose body was found at the foot of the Palisades in upper Manhattan after a group of thugs — one of whom used to work at the restaurant — abducted him outside the place in 1997.