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UPDATE: Massive Brush Fire Rages In Berkeley,…

UPDATE: Township Opens Warming Center

Schools close for a second day as the borough rescinds the state of emergency.

Chatham residents can warm up at the Chatham Emergency Squad building at 45 Spring St., which will be available for residents as a heating center and to charge electronics. Police will also be available to discuss any emergency assistance needed.

Chatham schools will be closed for a second straight day Tuesday as the borough and township continue to "get back to normal."

Borough Mayor Nelson Vaughan signed an order lifting the state of emergency Monday shortly after 2 p.m.

"We're trying to get back to normal here," he said.

With the state of emergency lifted, parking is now permitted on borough streets again.

Ohio Edison crews were on the scene in Chatham Monday morning as more than 6,500 residents woke up to what was, for many, their third day without power.

Township Mayor Nicole Hagner said she is "keeping the pressure up" on JCP&L to bring relief to some of the town's hardest-hit neighborhoods, including Green Village.

The Tanglewood Recycling Center will not open Monday, but Hagner said it will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for residents to bring fallen branches and other debris from the early winter storm.

Chatham Borough released a list of streets with priority problems, including hanging wires and trees blocking the roadways. The top priorities over the weekend were the , which had problems with its backup generator, and the water pumps for the borough's internal water system.

"We got those back up and running," Borough Mayor Nelson Vaughan said, and now he is trying to get crews in to get the rest of Chatham's power restored. Curbside brush pickup will commence on Monday, Nov. 7.

Vaughan said JCP&L representatives told him there are 6,384 connections out in Chatham Borough and Chatham Township as of noon Monday, and that the utility company expects to have restored power to 5,171 connections by the end of the day. "I'm not sure I believe that," he said.

Vaughan said he has been in contact with the governor's office about the power outages. "Right now still many of the streets look like a tornado has gone through. Almost every street is blocked."

Chatham Township Police released a Nixle alert Monday at 2 p.m. saying JCP&L crews are in town working on restoring the power. The alert did not give an estimated time for power to be reconnected.

"We are hopeful to start having some electricity restore[d] by tomorrow," Hagner said via email Monday.

Outside of the , crews are working on clearing a large tree branch with power lines, which fell onto a truck over the weekend. Passing vehicles have been diverted into the Fairmount Country Store parking lot for safety.

"Most interior roads have significant debris," Hagner said via email. She also said she expects River Road and Fairmount Avenue to be clear by Monday evening.

The Chatham Borough Police and Department of Public Works assembled a list of priorities for cleanup and safety. The list includes the following:

  • Amherst Road: hanging second power lines
  • Center Avenue: very low-hanging power and branches, a power line across the roadway
  • Chatham Street west of Lafayette Avenue: low hanging power lines and branches
  • Coleman Avenue: very low hanging power lines, branches down, power line down in the road
  • Dellwood Avenue: power and cable lines in the roadway
  • Edgewood Road at Lafayette Avenue: one lane closed
  • Elmwood Avenue: very low hanging power lines and branches down
  • Fairfax Terrace at Edgewood Road: Low hanging power lines
  • Fairmount Avenue: Low hanging power and communication lines, primary wires tangled in large tree limbs (labeled very dangerous and a high priority)
  • Highland Avenue: tree, large branches and power lines down and in the roadway
  • Hillside Avenue: power lines and tree hanging, partially and fully blocking the road at different spots (labeled very series and a high priority)
  • Inwood Road: secondary power line across the road
  • Jackson Avenue: tree across the roadway with power lines down and hanging low
  • Lincoln Avenue: low branch in roadway, and road closed by fallen tree and power lines down in spots
  • North Passaic Avenue: power lines and tree branches in roadway.
  • Philman Place: low hanging power lines
  • Red Road: low hanging power lines
  • Rowan Road: power lines and branches in the road
  • Somerset Avenue: tree in the roadway
  • Washington Avenue: road blocked by communication wire and cable in two spots; branches and power lines blocking the road; branches, secondary power and cable wires down in two spots
  • Watchung Avenue at Lafayette Avenue: low power lines and branches
  • Weston Avenue at North Passaic Avenue: tree down across the roadway, traffic confined to 1 lane
  • Weston Avenue: cable and Verizon wires down, power lines down across roadway, low hanging power lines, power lines down across the roadway at 2 spots
  • Woodland Road: Power lines down.

Warming centers are available in Madison at the Public Safety Building on Kings Road, and at Summit Middle School.

Chatham Patch will provide more information as it becomes available.

Sir October 31, 2011 at 04:46 PM
"Keeping the pressure up"? What does that mean? I've called JCPL as well - so have I kept the "pressure up" as well? What also seems alarming is I see more private landscape companies clearing debris from residential properties than public areas. Actually, I haven't seen these companies working on public streets. Why does the township not have a contingency plan in place other than to say "we are doing our best"?
Sir October 31, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Caryn - Pressuring JCP&L? Let's sit on the sidelines and expect mediocrity. At minimum, perhaps they can communicate their strategy to their customers - or is that asking too much? Let's sit idle and say nothing. What a joke.
Melissa October 31, 2011 at 06:59 PM
And what happens to those of us NOT on the "priority list" who have tree limbs on the power lines and temps of 55 degrees inside the house, with no power since Saturday?
scp1 October 31, 2011 at 08:50 PM
@caryn - You're a nasty little troll. If you don't care about Chatham, then what are you doing trolling the Chatham patch? You see you're one of these people who doesn't like Chatham because it is viewed as affluent. No one suggested that Chatham should be placed above others - only you said that. I live in an apartment, Caryn. Can I complain? Is it okay if I want the mayor to put pressure on the power company? If you have any problems formulating a response and don't know where to put the words... I have a few suggestions...
Richard October 31, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Just at Emergency Squad. Mayor Hagner did not have any answers and does not know the jcpl plan for restoring power to the Township. She said residents should call jcpl to register their outage. I spoke to public works and they said they only have 8 chain saws (2 are small) and there is only so much they can do. It seems Mayor Hagner needs a plan of attach that includes getting some outside help.
Peter November 01, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Folks, the best thing you can do to get your power restored is to try to speak directly with one of the linemen who are in the trucks that are in our Chatham neighborhoods. The one I spoke with was from the Ohio Power Company of Akron (weird, I know). However, after talking to him, our power was back on within 2 hrs. We had been without power for 3 days. Better than dealing with Hagner....she knows nothing and is quite possibly helping to outsource our local power company to interests in Ohio?
Anonymous November 01, 2011 at 01:21 PM
Hagner was more interested in pushing special legislation for her cronies at Thursday's Committeman meeting than preparing for the storm. You would Hurricane Irene would have reprioritized her agenda.
caryn November 01, 2011 at 01:21 PM
scp - Let me just be sure I have this straight. If I don't believe Chatham should take precedence over other communities, that means I don't like Chatham? Oh wait, I was the one who said that in the first place? You are arguing in circles. I have lived in Chatham for 15 years, and like it very much. I like my friends and neighbors (even the affluent ones!!!). Since the power company clearly has limited resources, the only response they can make to the mayors' pressure is to either ignore or to redirect resources from other areas into Chatham. Can you complain? Certainly seems that you can (practice makes perfect?). And please, keep your thinly veiled threats to yourself.
Ed November 01, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Easy to point the finger at JCP&L When will the township get the trees out of main roads?
Peter November 01, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Has anyone seen what Noe Ave. and Dale Drive look like on Day 4? With all the trees still in the road and power lines all over the place, it looks like an bomb went off. Looks like Hagner and her henchmen might have other priorities than cleaning up our town. How many more days are the schools going to be closed? At this rate the kids will be in school making up "snow/bad weather" days until July. It's not even winter yet!
Jen Galante November 01, 2011 at 05:13 PM
this is infuriating!!! Where is Hagner??? Out campaigning?? This is leadership at its worst. This town four days later still looks like a war zone. Some of us work and can't have the kids home all week because this town can't seem to find a way to clean up a 4 day old mess and get the power restored. Every person in town that I run into wants her to resign.
Peter November 01, 2011 at 08:39 PM
This registered Republican WILL NOT be voting for Nicole Hagner/Baily Brower/Bob Gallop ever again. They've done a terrible job serving the people of Chatham Township in this mess. Just saw that the Chatham Schools will be closed for the rest of the week. An absolute disgrace.
Melissa November 01, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Sorry - where did you see that the schools are closed for the rest of the week??
carol November 02, 2011 at 01:44 AM
It is a few places including the school web site. http://www.chatham-nj.org/
Jim Novick November 02, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Wow, helping to outsource our local power company to interests in Ohio. Really? I get venting your frustration, but honestly please elaborate. Then we can have fun with the next comments.
ReadyKilloWatt November 04, 2011 at 12:18 AM
How many of you called JCP&L and reported your power outage promptly. How do you imagine that teams from Ohio get work orders? And yes if you speak nicely to a crew they can stray somewhat from there list and work on the houses next door


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