Extreme winds have already knocked out power to thousands of homeowners in Ridgewood and Glen Rock. It's just the beginning phases of a storm that could eclipse Irene and 'Snowtober' in its viciousness and destruction.
As of 8 p.m. Monday, between 5,000 and 10,000 in Ridgewood were stuck with flashlights and non-perishable food. Between 2,000 and 5,000 customers were in the dark in Glen Rock.
Trees fell to devastating effect in both towns, forcing officials in both towns to plead with residents not to leave their homes until further notice.
Ridgewood's Willard neighborhood – known for its massive Oak and Maple trees – is virtually impassable. Large trees snapped onto several homes. Others narrowly missed making landfall in residents' living rooms. Few in the area have power.
Numerous residents told Patch it could take a week for PSE&G to flick the switch and restore electricity.
Mayor Paul Aronsohn said PSE&G has not provided the town with a projection as to when power would be returned. However, no power grids have gone down and the CBD is still juiced, Aronsohn told Patch Monday night.
Over 150 incidents involving trees into homes, onto streets, onto power lines as of 8:30 p.m. Monday in Ridgewood, Aronsohn said.
Paramus Road has been closed from Linwood to Walthery avenues due to a transformer fire. West Glen Avenue by Oak Street is also closed due to a transformer explosion. The other main roads in town remain open as of 9 p.m.
Tons of side streets, however, are cordoned off with yellow police tape.
The good news – if there is any – is that there has been no report of flooding and no flood events are projected, Aronsohn said.
But the work has become too dangerous for the staff and will have to resume in the morning, he said. Only first responders are currently out.
"The crews were hard at work initially clearing trees and limbs, but had to cease clean-up once it got too dangerous," Aronsohn said. "Village staff have been extraordinary. The early preparations. The long hours. The seamless coordination. And the willingness to work in very dangerous situations. Taken together, these folks are doing anything and everything to ensure the safety of our community."
Wastena Court resident Caroline Oddy was extremely impressed with the village's response when a tree went straight through her roof.
"The Village has been amazing," she said. The fire department and building inspector arrived within fifteen minutes bringing advice on how to proceed next, she said.
Sustained winds of up to 30-50 is expected to hit early Tuesday morning. Village Hall will be closed Tuesday and the library will not open in the morning.
"Unfortunately, this storm is far from over," Aronsohn said.
The borough has also been battered by Sandy's bad nature, Borough OEM Coordinator Joanne Perry said.
"At this time, there are many streets impassable in town due to many trees down as well as live wires down, Perry told Patch just past 9:30 p.m. "Better than 50 percent of the town is without power. PSE&G will not come out until they feel it is safe, wind especially. I do know however, they will not be here during the night."
The DPW will clear tress as soon as PSE&G confirms that the wire on each tree is dead, Perry said.
The borough is also urging residents to not venture out until morning due to the hazardous conditions on countless streets.
"Just because a wire isn't sparking, doesn't mean it isn't live," Perry warned.
Maple Avenue between Rock Road and Glen Avenue has been closed. A live wire has electrified the fence at Wilde Park on Maple Avenue.
One half of Maple and Ackerman is also without power after a transformer exploded, residents reported to Patch. Closures were also reported on Harding Road and Grove Street at the Ridgewood border.
The area around Hazlehurst in Glen Rock also saw trees fall onto electrified lines. Residents told Patch Kenwood Place was without power, as are sections of Rodney Street.
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