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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.

A D October 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Patch, thank you for your continued reporting. Can you communicate back to the town administrators that we need more Nixle updates on the details of the power restoration efforts being performed? There was a Nixle sent out yesterday afternoon saying part of the town would be energized, did that work? Will they be trying again? Is the town still waiting for JCP&L crews to show up at a site where the town mayor is being told non-existing crews are already working (like happened last year)?
David Arthur October 31, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Congrats to all those spending countless hours to get Madison back in shape. The crews I've been able to talk to are really busting their butts to get the debris cleaned up so the electrical repairs can be done as soon as possible. Thanks for everyones help and countless hours.
NJTom October 31, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Agree with AD. We appreciate the enormity of this disaster, but please just talk to us and let us know what's going on! It's been 24 hours since the last communication on the power situation.
Madison Station October 31, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I see our town employees working on restoring the power, and thank them. But, what is up with the town not communicating updates on restoration? No Nixle alert. Rosenet.org reverted to pre-storm status - it looks like there was data loss. I got the alert about schools, so I know Nixle is working. Are the JCP&L feeder lines up and working? Are they just keeping power off to protect citizens and crews? I'd totally be ok with the latter, but it would just be nice to know...
dave carver October 31, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Belleau avevwas cut off from exit by 3 trees that fell across the street and onto he power lines. When I woke up this morning, I was thinking how cool it would be to find the crews working on the trees, but I figured that was a long shot! Imagine my surprise to find a hard working crew of 2 from honor tree on the job at 8am, they told me their priority was to fix the unsafe situations across town and ours was very unsafe with the power lines holding up the trees which were spanning the street. By 10:30 am, they were done and onto their next job.
sptuttle October 31, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I second the note of praise shared by Mr. Arthur. There is no doubt that everyone participating in all aspects of public service to the town during this disaster period deserve recognition. However, I think the preceding note submitted by "A D" was also appropriate. Living in an age when so many means of communication are so readily available and given how many people in our area (as elsewhere) are looking for a source of reliable information on developments, it would indeed be appreciated if we could hear more about the progress that is being made in restoring power service. No one's asking for the town to make promises they're afraid can't be kept. I'm simply asking for more frequent updates so that I have more information on which I can make decisions for my family. I think that people would appreciate the communication regardless of whether it is good news or not.
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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