Conditions in Borough 'Worsening As Expected,' Police Say

Residents urged to report downed trees to police, power outages to local police and to stay indoors.

Chatham Borough Police Chief Philip J. Crosson said conditions in the borough are "worsening exactly as expected" with Hurricane Sandy's continued to bring rain and high winds to the area.

"I think everybody had a false sense that last night was the worst of it, but I think we're going to get the brunt of it now," Crosson said.

Several trees have come down already in the borough, including along Chatham Street, Hillside Avenue and Main Street.

Crosson said employees from the Chatham Borough Department of Public Works will clear trees from the roadways, unless the trees are tangled with telephone, communication or electrical wires.

Crosson also asked residents again to stay indoors during the storm and not to inspect downed wires in their neighborhoods.

"Those wires can send electricity through the ground, especially wet ground, for five or six feet. Just because it's down doesn't mean it's dead," Crosson said. "They just really need to stay away from it and nt assess the damage."

According to First Energy's outage map, 66 customers were without power in Chatham Borough as of 6 p.m. Monday.

"I'm just hoping people heed the warnings. Stay home, that's the safest place to be," Crosson said. "With this wind a tree limb could come down in your neighbors yard and fly into your yard."

Traffic off of Route 24 and in downtown Chatham has been light throughout the day and most businesses were closed Monday, according to police. "That's the stuff that's very helpful to us [in] dealing with some of these emergency situations," Crosson said.

Residents are asked to check on any neighbors who may need help, and to report power outages to JCP&L. Downed trees can be reported to the police department at (973) 635-8000 and life-threatening emergencies should be reported by calling 911.

"If you see anything that's a danger, let us know and we'll take appropriate action," Crosson said.


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