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UPDATE: All of South Brunswick Still Without Power

Entire town without power; most major state and township roads impassable due to downed trees and utility poles, recovery could take weeks, township officials say.

6:30 a.m., Tuesday Oct. 30

The entire township of South Brunswick remains in the dark Tuesday morning after the unprecedented destruction of Hurricane Sandy.

High winds caused widespread downed trees and utility poles throughout town. Most major state and township roads remain impassable.

No estimates are yet available on when power will be restored. Police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan said the full scale of the damage to South Brunswick would not be able to be determined until Tuesday morning.

***

7:30 p.m., Monday Oct. 29

South Brunswick has suffered devastation on an historic scale as Hurricane Sandy pounds the area.

South Brunswick officials estimated that the entire town is now without power. At least five utility poles have snapped along Route 130 across the road leaving it impassable.

"It's bad and it's getting much worse," said police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan. "I really can't even describe it. It will take us weeks to get back up. People are worried about tomorrow, I'm worried about Saturday. This is unprecedented."

All of Route 130 in town has been shut down. Sgt. Ryan said PSE&G will not be able to begin repairs until the storm has passed.

"One officer described it as a war zone," he said. "It's just complete devastation. The time it will take to restore this will be lengthy." 

Sgt. Ryan reported trees have fallen on almost every road in town, and most township roads are impassable.

All traffic signals on Route 1 in South Brunswick are not operational due to the massive power outage.

"There is absolutely no travel in town right now," Sgt. Ryan said. "If an officer finds non-essential personnel on the roads, you will be issued a summons. We're getting numerous calls for assistance and we're doing our best to get to them, but almost every road has a downed tree."

***

6:30 p.m.

The majority of South Brunswick Township is now without power due to extremely high winds. Outages are reported on a wide scale across town, including the South Brunswick Municipal Building and Police headquarters, according to South Brunswick Police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan. Both buildings are working off of an emergency generator.

All traffic signals on Route 1 in South Brunswick are not operational due to the massive power outage. Route 130 has been shut down at Route 32 after a utility pole snapped and blocked the road.

Residents are urged to shelter in place and stay off the roads.

Township officials were heading into a conference call with PSE&G as of 6:30 p.m. to get a full assessment of the situation.

***

6 p.m.

Increasing power outages throughout have hit South Brunswick as Hurricane Sandy intensifies. PSE&G is reporting between 2,000 to 5,000 outages in town thus far.

As night arrives, township OEM is stressing that no one should be traveling other than during an emergency situation.

Power outages are now being reported in the following areas:

  • New Road – Monmouth Junction area 
  • South Ridge Townhouses 
  • Kingston area – Route 27 border with Princeton north 
  • Princeton Manor 
  • Princeton Gate 
  • Princeton Walk 
  • Old Road 
  • Wynwood Townhouses 
  • High Gate Development 
  • Little Rocky Hill 
  • Miller Road 

Traffic signals at the following intersections are not functional:

  • Route 130 and Route 32 
  • Route 1 and Raymond Road 
  • Route 522 and New Road 
  • Route 27 and Gateway 
  • Route 27 and Promenade Boulevard 
  • Route 27 and Heathcote Road 
  • Route 27 and Academy Road 

***

4:30 p.m.

Conditions in South Brunswick are rapidly deteriorating as Hurricane Sandy creates extremely hazardous conditions in the township. Police stress that there should only be emergency travel on township roads.

There have been an increasing number of downed trees in the past hour and a half blocking roads and bringing down power lines throughout town. Widespread power outages are now being reported in South Brunswick. 

Police said the eastern portion of town appears to be suffering from the highest volume of fallen trees, while the western portion has more power outages. 

Outages are being reported in the following areas:

  • Princeton Manor 
  • Princeton Gate 
  • Princeton Walk 
  • Old Road 
  • Wynwood Townhouses 
  • High Gate Development 
  • Little Rocky Hill 
  • Route 27 traffic lights on flash. 
  • Route 130 / Route 32 traffic light out 

Downed tree have been reported at the following locations:

  • Riva Ave by Davidson Mill Road 
  • Broadway Road by Miller Road 
  • Selma Drive 
  • Miller Road 
  • Deans Rhode Hall 
  • Eiker Road 

***

4 p.m.

High winds are causing more widespread power outages in South Brunswick. South Brunswick Police are reporting the Princeton Walk development has now lost power.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan said the high winds caused downed wires on Georges Road near the Wetherill House. 

"We're expericing more power outages as the storm progresses," he said. "We're still trying to determine the extent of the outages at this time. The wind is also causing a lot of downed trees in the area."

The New Jersey Turnpike has been closed from Exit 8 to Exit 7A for emergency maintenance.

***

3:30 p.m.

High winds and downed trees have caused the first reported power outages in South Brunswick from Hurricane Sandy.

South Brunswick Police are reporting power outages along Route 27 near the Franklin Township border from Route 518 to Promenade Blvd., with some traffic lights on flash. 

Broadway Road remains closed due to a fallen tree near Miller Road. Downed trees have also been reported on Riva Ave by Davidson Mill Road, Selma Drive, Georges Road by Deans Rhode Hall Road and on Deans Rhode Hall Road as well. Eiker Road by Rowland Park has been completely blocked by a downed tree. 

Police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan said a roof partially blew off of Dayton Collision on Route 130, next to Dayton Toyota.

There are no major flooding problems reported yet, but officials believe that will become a problem as the storm progresses.

"Definitely in the last half hour we've had a lot more problems," Sgt. Ryan said.

***

2 p.m.

Wind and rain damage has become more intense in South Brunswick as Hurricane Sandy arrives.

South Brunswick Police report several downed trees in town, though the problem is not widespread as of yet. Trees have come down on Georges Road and Deans Lane, but have been removed by police and public works.

A downed tree on Broadway Road near Miller Road has closed the roadway for the time being. Flooding is also becoming a problem, as expected.

"The rain has really picked up in the last half hour," said police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan. "Route 1 south at Ridge Road was shut down briefly due to flooding. It's been reopened, but we're not sure how long that's going to last."

Sgt. Ryan said PSE&G has about a dozen trucks stationed in the Target parking lot.

"Most businesses in town have begun to close early," he added. "The next 8 to 12 hours will be a critical time for the impact on the community."

Report storm related information such as downed trees and power lines or other non-life threatening situations to 732-329-4646.

Check back for more updates on Patch as information becomes available.

***

10 a.m.

Conditions in South Brunswick are progressively getting worse Monday morning as the wind and rain begin to gather intensity.

"We're anticipating by mid-afternoon to have much more forceful winds and rain in the area," said police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan. "Traffic is light on the roadways thus far. We have activated the emergency operations center and will divert all non-emergency calls to the center. The fire departments, EMS, and public works are set up to deploy resources, so we're as ready as we can possibly be."

As the storm gets more severe and roads begin to become inaccessible, Sgt. Ryan urged residents who decide to travel to use extreme caution and to be mindful of barriers for flooded roads. During Hurricane Irene, two cars were found submerged in flood water under the Deans Lane bridge. Sgt. Ryan said any motorist who abandons their car in flood water should alert authorities so they are aware the car is abandoned.

Princeton EMT Michael Kenwood lost his life during Hurricane Irene attempting to get to a submerged car that was later found to be abandoned.

"Certain roads are going to be closed off during the storm and people won't be able to see the flood water once it gets dark," Sgt. Ryan said. "If there are barricades set up, please don't travel around them. If you get your car stuck, please let us know. Princeton had a tragedy as a result of that."

Sgt. Ryan said the major areas of concern for flooding are the South Brunswick-Princeton border on Route 27, Deans Lane, Route 1 near Dow Jones, and the Oakdale and Monmouth Mobile Home Parks.

"Over the next 24 hours we should get a good handle on where we stand," he said. "We're already seeing a lot of flooding in Sayreville and Old Bridge from the Raritan Bay. High tide came around 8:30 p.m. (Sunday) and when that impacts rivers and streams, we think during the early evening hours, that will be our biggest concern. We urge people to shelter in place and stay off the roads."

***

8:45 a.m.

The impact of Hurricane Sandy has been minimal thus far, but forecasts are calling for things to get much worse.

According to weather.com, squalls can be expected between 1 and 6 p.m. today, and high tide this evening could bring record flooding to the area. High wind warnings will remain in effect from 8 a.m. today until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Winds will be from the northeast from 40 to 50 mph with gusts up to 75 mph. Winds will shift southerly with gusts of 60 to 70 mph early tonight.

South Brunswick is expecting small stream flooding, as well as considerable urban and drainage flooding, from Monday morning into Tuesday. Wide spread flooding from overflowing area rivers is possible on Tuesday or later, depending where the heaviest rain falls. Leaves washed into storm drains may exacerbate the problem. An extended period of high winds with gusts of 60 to 70 mph are anticipated through Tuesday, which could cause structural damage, downed trees and widespread outages.

Township officials report no power outages in South Brunswick yet. The PSE&G map shows minimal outages, in the range of 1-500. The utility company warns that their crews cannot begin restoring service until the winds have diminished enough for them to work safely. This means wind less than 45 mph.

PSE&G warns customers to prepare for the possibility of lengthy power outages that could last seven days or more. Township OEM advises that it may take until Wednesday before a full assessment of the storm’s damage can be made and the utility accurately predict when full restoration can be performed. 

A computer model using wind and population data with information from previous hurricanes predicts that eight to 10 million customers on the East Coast will lose power in the coming week.

All roadways are clear as of 9 a.m. Monday, but motor vehicle traffic is encouraged to be limited only to those necessary to be on the roadway. Motorists are urged to refrain from travel unless absolutely necessary.

A State of Emergency was declared Sunday and all are asked to exercise common sense and good judgment. If you choose to travel on the roadways, the high volume of anticipated calls for service from first responders may result in excessive delays if you require assistance.

Elsewhere, New Brunswick has advised that as of 9 a.m. Monday, the City will be shut down. Non-emergency personnel will not be allowed on city streets. Emergency personnel should have proper identification.

South Brunswick Patch will constantly update conditions throughout the storm with up the minute road closures, outages and flooding information, so check back frequently.

--

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