Verona, Cedar Grove Begin Cleanup Process
Towns struggling after Hurricane Sandy as schools remain closed; power could be out for a week or more.
Most of Verona and Cedar Grove remain without power and will remain that way for an extended period of time.
Verona township officials estimated PSE&G could have power back up in the next seven days, but that number is tentative and subject to change.
More than 1.2 million people are without power in the PSE&G metro area, said Verona Office of Emergency Management Director Jeff Hayes.
“Crews worked into the night, sitting on downed wires and getting trees up,” said Hayes. “Most circuits have been turned off by PSE&G but people should stay two telephone poles, or 300 feet, away from a downed power line.”
Seven streets in Verona are still blocked by fallen trees and power lines.
Hayes said 27 buildings were struck by trees throughout the township, and 10 of those homes needed immediate structural treatment. The families were moved and no one was injured, he said.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, a majority of Cedar Grove residents were still out of power including the business district and town hall. Cedar Grove Police are still running on a backup generator.
All town offices will remain closed and there will be no waste or recycling pickup.
“The damage is extensive,” said Mayor Peter Tanella. “There are still a number of downed wires, the DPW as well as private contractors have been out all day. Removing wires will be an ongoing process.”
“We are working hard but there is still a lot to do,” he added.
Schools in both Verona and Cedar Grove will be closed on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Verona Superintendent Steven Forte announced schools will be closed and Halloween events will have to be rescheduled.
The Verona Board of Education meeting, scheduled for Tuesday night was rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. at town hall, 600 Bloomfield Ave. in Verona.
The meeting was moved to town hall as the township is still working to restore power to the schools.
Cedar Grove schools will also be closed on Wednesday with rescheduled Halloween activities.
Police are urging parents to keep their children inside on Halloween.
The Cedar Grove Police Department issued the following Halloween alert on their NIXLE system earlier Tuesday:
Due to the hazardous conditions resulting from the recent storm we are recommending that parents keep their children inside for Halloween. There are numerous electrical wires down throughout the Township along with the downed trees. All wires should be considered energized and should be avoided.