MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano is urging residents to be cautious as they begin to assess the damage from Hurricane Sandy.
“There are numerous trees and power lines down throughout the county, and residents should always assume that any wires down are live. We would request that residents stay off the roads today if possible, to allow our emergency services to perform their important work” Rafano said. ”Also, municipal and county crews are out clearing roadways and debris.”
Power companies have multiple tree crews out, removing trees and branches from power lines. That will enable utility crews to then put power lines back up. JCP&L is utilizing helicopters to assess damage to their transmission system as the first step to power restoration for their system.
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, a water shortage was affecting the City of New Brunswick and Milltown, including the New Brunswick area hospitals and the Rutgers University campus. A precautionary boil water advisory is in effect for New Brunswick.
Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campuses are relocating students to their Piscataway facilities. All classes are cancelled and offices closed until further notice.
Over 350,000 people in Middlesex County are without power. Both Milltown and South River have no power at all.
Overnight, 10 fires were extinguished: three in Woodbridge, two in Sayreville, and one each in Avenel, Middlesex, Metuchen, Edison and Carteret.
Over the last 12 hours, emergency workers shut down a major natural gas leak between Water and Front streets in Perth Amboy and mounted a successful water rescue for over 20 residents on Weber Avenue where house foundations were buckling and residents were trapped. No injuries were reported.
Approximately 80 people were rescued from the Circle Motel in Sayreville and evacuated to Carl Sandberg shelter in Old Bridge. All residents are reported safe. Ten other people were rescued from Sayreville flood waters.
Middlesex County opened two regional shelters. Currently there are 200 individuals at the shelter at the Woodbridge Community Center on Main Street; and there are 160 people at the shelter inside the Carl Sandberg Middlesex School in Old Bridge.
Additionally, about 504 residents have gone to local shelters, including:
- 161 people at Perth Amboy’s 2 shelters
- 160 people at Carteret’s 2 shelters
- 80 people at New Brunswick’s shelter
For those residents who own portable generators, they should remember the following safety tips:
- Generators should be operated in well-ventilated locations outdoors away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
- Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
- Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
- Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.