Tuesday Sandy Update

Good morning, all.

I’m happy to say that Frenchtown mostly dodged the Hurricane Sandy bullet.

That doesn’t mean that some folks in town haven’t suffered. During the heaviest part of the storm, heavy winds knocked down trees on a number of borough streets, notably Everittstown Road, Milford Road, Ward Street, Harrison Street, River Road and Horseshoe Bend Road. Some of those were blocked by debris and downed trees. But for the most part, we were lucky.

DPW cleared roads overnight where it was safe to do so. In some places, possibly live power lines lay across the road (on Everittstown, River and Horseshoe Bend roads.) In those areas, the DPW won’t be able to open the road until JCP+L crews confirm that it’s safe to do so.
PLEASE DO NOT APPROACH THESE WIRES OR TRY TO DRIVE OVER OR AROUND THEM.

At this time we don’t know how soon JCP+L crews will arrive to clear those lines. I’ll be in contact with our JCP+L representative within the hour and if there’s news to share, I’ll share it.

That said, it’s not clear how many Frenchtown homes or businesses are really without power. JCP+L reports 834 customers without service, but that’s clearly wrong, because that would be the entire town. If you are without power call the JCP+L hotline to report it: 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS).

If you have no power and you need help, call Frenchtown’s OEM Communication Center: 996-2341. CERT, police, fire and rescue and DPW crews have been in all night and are able to help.

Other good news: the storm angled south and there was far less rain than forecasters predicted. As a result, the Nishishackawick Creek did not flood and it doesn’t appear that the Delaware will flood either.

Much of the state was not as lucky as Frenchtown. Don’t assume that you will be able to get to work… many streets and highways are closed throughout the county and debris will slow traffic even where it hasn’t entirely blocked the roadway. I’ve been told that Route 12 is open from Frenchtown to Flemington. Status of other roads is unknown.  Neighbors on lower Front Street lost power last night at about 7 p.m. The sewer pump station beside the bike path is now operating on diesel generator.

Remember that schools are closed today. We don’t know yet about tomorrow. Apparently much of Kingwood, Holland, Milford and Alexandria were hit harder than we were and if their schools and the high school can’t open, FES may stay closed as well. Stay tuned.
Borough Hall may open late today. The clerk is away on vacation and the deputy clerk tells me that she’s lost power at her home in Warren County where many roads are closed. She’ll wait until it’s light out to attempt to come in.

Kudos to police, fire company, DPW and CERT volunteers who kept watch all night and responded to incidents as they occurred. Special thanks too, to residents who called in trouble spots.

Stay safe. Check with your neighbors and let us know if they, or you, need help.

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Author: Warren Cooper

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