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Madison Begins Cleanup After Waking to 'War Zone'

Impressive progress made Tuesday clearing downed trees and utility poles, the borough's OEM coordinator said.

Madison schools remained closed Wednesday for a third day and Halloween trick-or-treating in the Rose City was postponed as the borough recovers from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Madison Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Landrigan on Tuesday said the storm caused significant damage to Madison's electrical infrastructure and took down up to around 100 utility poles around town.

Many of the poles and numerous trees blocked roads, but by Tuesday evening 95 percent of the major roads in Madison were cleared, Landrigan said. Madison police announced at 2:41 p.m. Tuesday a travel ban was lifted.

The cleanup effort in Madison was aided by a crew from Texas that was called in advance by Vineland, but turned out not to be needed there and was recruited by Madison.

The Madison Electric Department is working with Jersey Central Power & Light to seen when they will get their feeder lines to Madison restored. Then the Madison Electric Department will need to work to get each neighborhood back online. Power could start coming back to the borough in around three days to a week, Landrigan said.

About 25 homes in Madison were directly impacted by trees, while others were hit less directly. No injuries were reported.

"When we woke up to this, we took a ride through town and said it looked like a war zone," Landrigan said. "Many of the roads were impassable."

Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the College of St. Elizabeth all announced they were closed Wednesday, and Drew and CSE said they will remain closed through the week. St. Vincent Martyr School is closed Wednesday.

Superstorm Sandy Notices from Madison

  • Madison has a shelter available for residents as a last resort at the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
  • Warming and charging stations are available at borough hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hartley Dodge Memorial.
  • Officials hope to reschedule trick-or-treating from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and will confirm later in the week.
  • The Water Department reports water is safe throughout Madison.
  • No garbage pickup on Wednesday. The twice a week garbage pickup schedule will resume for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  • No trees and limbs should be placed curbside for the next two weeks because streets need to be clear for electric utility repairs.

The borough published an updated list of guidelines and tips for residents on RoseNet.org, and praised its employees, volunteers and first responders.

"We are very proud of the job our staff, volunteers and first responders are doing under these difficult situations," the update said. "They are doing an excellent job and deserve our thanks and patience."

Correction: Instances of Tropical Storm Sandy changed to Superstorm Sandy.

BD November 01, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I for one find the Nixle updates to be very frequent--sometimes too frequent, in an eagerness to be communicative and with all good intentions; so I assume that when there are substantive updates on the power situation we'll hear them. Let's be patient, let people do their jobs, and not encourage useless alerts just for the sake of increased frequency. New Jersey is in a state of emergency, there are many people who are in our situation and much worse, and we are extremely fortunate to live in a town that is so proactive.
dave carver November 01, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Power just came on Belleau ave! Yeah.
rich deo November 01, 2012 at 01:23 AM
North St Electric is back....Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steve T. November 01, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Knollwood Avenue came back on 2 hours ago - house is slowly warming back up. Am so very proud of our electric company and all of the folks at town hall who lost countless hours of sleep working their tails off to help fix things. We have the best town and I could not imagine living anyplace else.
The Good Guy November 01, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Amazing, amazing, amazing. I'm proud to live in Madison.

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