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Heights Clean Up Continues, Schools Close Thursday

Several roads in town are still blocked off due to downed trees which are tangled in live electrical wires. Borough offices operating on generators and the DPW yard flooded.

UPDATE 11:00 p.m. - Some neighborhoods throughout Hasbrouck Heights are still without power, Halloween has been postponed, school closed for another day, borough offices are operating on generator power and gasoline is getting scarce.

News came out Wednesday evening that public schools will be closed Thursday as well. It is uncertan whether there will be school open on Friday. Area towns like Wood-Ridge and Paramus have closed school for the rest of the week.

Power started coming back around town Wednesday night in some areas including Roosevelt, Jefferson, Burr, Lasalle and part of Cleveland. Some readers reported Oldfield was still out. The 24 Hour Fitness on Route 17 reported on its Facebook page Wednesday power was just returned and the fitness center would reopen Thursday.

DPW Superintendent Bill Spindler told Patch at least 90 whole trees or limbs came down around town as a result of Sandy. At one point 70 percent of the borough had no power, he says.

Power has since been restored to some neighborhoods but many are still without power. Spindler says there were no reports of sewer backups or flooding of basements which occured when Irene hit the area last summer.

On Wednesday morning cars were lined up at the Citgo station at Williams and Terrace Avenue looking to fill their tanks and canisters for generators. By 11 a.m. Wednesday only premium was available.

All the gas stations on Route 17 and the BP station at Williams and Boulevard had been closed due to loss of power. The Boulevard Exxon is going through renovations and has only been open for repairs in recent weeks.

Currently the Borough Hall and the public safety building are operating on a generator power, said Spindler. Spindler says the DPW yard is without power and part of the area has been flooded likely related to the levee break which flooded out Moonachie and parts of Little Ferry early Tuesday.

Spindler said there is no generator backup at the DPW yard so offices have been temporarily moved to the Borough Hall. He says they are trying to get calls transferred from the Plant Road office to Borough Hall but meantime they have been unable to answer calls.

The public library opened Wednesday operating under limited conditions, says Mike Kronyak, Borough Administrator. The library doesn't have full power and can't check out books, WiFi is out but research material is avaiable.

DPW crews have been out clearing tree debris since the storm began. Spindler says the crews worked about 36 hours straight Monday morning into Tuesday afternoon. They are now working in 12 hour shifts trying to get as much done as possible in daylight hours.

Crews are not able to remove tree debris tangled in live wires and PSE&G needs to come in to remove the wires before DPW can clear the debris, says Spindler. Several sidestreets are still shut down as a result such as Jefferson at Burton Avenue and Stanley which has a huge tree lying across the road tangled in wires.Longworth is also blocked off due to downed trees which are tangled in wires, he said.

Residents were at the senior center Wednesday afternoon charging up their cell phones and other electric devices as the borough opened the center up as a charging center for those in town without power.

Diana Stedman, who lives on Ottawa Avenue, was at the charging center Wednesday. She says her home has been without power since Monday night. Although it's an inconvenience to be without power for this long she says she is focusing on the bright side and is thankful she had no property damage or flooding.

Halloween has been postponed due to safety reasons as there are many areas around town with downed wires and trees. Governor Christie issued a statement Wednesday officially postponing Halloween until Monday, Nov. 5.

As of Wednesday afternoon there had been no date set for when Hasbrouck Heights will observe trick-or-treating.

Residents should take note garbage collection will be conducted Thurday and Friday in all areas trucks can get to, said Spindler. Parks like Woodland are a "disaster area" but priority is to get residential areas cleaned up first he says.

Stay tuned for more updates.

'Like' Patch on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute information. Send newstips or photos to alana.quartuccio@patch.com or text 201-290-1671.

Chris Peters October 31, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Good work Alana,!
garmonaitis October 31, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Any updates on estimates of times the power will be back? What took out Heights, wires, transformes, power stations?
Alana Quartuccio October 31, 2012 at 10:20 PM
@garmonaitis PSE&G is just giving an estimate of Monday for power to be restored but there are no specifics given otherwise. Downed trees and wires are the cause all over Hasbrouck Heights and surroudning areas @KimVigna - working to find out
Alana Quartuccio October 31, 2012 at 10:48 PM
And thanks Chris! Doing what I can to spread the word.
Thomas Meli November 01, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Great work Alana! Also would like to thank the Heights DPW, Fire and Ambulance , and Police Departments they are working endless hours and doing a tremendous job!

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