Storms cause severe damage in Freehold, N.J. - New York News

Storms cause severe damage in Freehold, N.J.

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MYFOXNY.COM -

Thousands of utility customers in central New Jersey remained without power Monday after a series of severe storms moved through the region over the weekend.

Freehold Mayor J. Nolan Higgins declared a State of Emergency after the storm swept through the borough Saturday night, causing extensive damage and power outages.

Jersey Central Power & Light says 1, 721 customers remain without power Monday. That number was up from earlier in the day.

A curfew will be in effect from dawn until disk until power is restored.

The town of Freehold Borough suffered severe damage as residents say there is burned pavement where live wires fell; trees easily snapped off, crushing some cars, and homes have been destroyed. The damage from the powerful storm has shocked many of the residents.

There were various rainfall totals across the state, but in Monmouth County, where the storm hit the hardest, Toms River reported 2.71 inches of rain and Freehold Township saw 1.68 inches, according to National Weather Service. Wind gusts during the thunderstorm reached 60-65 mph, according to the NWS.

"Well at about 10:00 p.m. (Saturday) tonight we had a fierce storm come through. Was very heavy, very severe winds, heavy rain, flooded the streets. We had many reports of many trees and hazards, lost the power throughout most of the town. We had flooding in most of the streets, wires on cars. Anything associated with a severe storm, we had," said Mayor Higgins.

Freehold officials shut down all entrances to the township around 11 p.m. Saturday due to the extensive damage.

"Our emergency management group met right away. We met upstairs in our fire house. We had our county emergency management group come in too. We've declared a state of emergency, and the streets have been closed. The police department has received assistance from our surrounding neighbors and they've come in to help us too," said Higgins.

Jersey Central Power and Light had hoped to restore power to all customers by midnight, but a new round of storms hampered their efforts. As of 1:40 p.m. today, the company's website was reporting 5,994 outages.

A number of area stores have offered Freehold Borough residents free ice and water during this crisis. One bag of ice and two gallons of water will be distributed to residents at no charge at the following locations: 

  • Foodtown, Park Avenue (Route 33), Freehold
  • ShopRite, South Street (Route 79), Freehold
  • Acme, Route 9, Freehold
  • Stop & Shop, Raintree Town Center, Freehold Township. 

JCP&L recommends taking the following if you lose power

  • If only your lights are out: Check your circuit breakers or fuses
  • If no breaker is tripped or fuse is blown, the problem may be in the connection between JCP&L's wires and your home. Call JCP&L's toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
  • Follow these other steps: 

To safeguard your equipment and appliances - and to ease the initial load when power is restored - turn off or unplug televisions, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, computers, and appliances that use electric motors such as refrigerators, freezers or air conditioners, until power is restored. Leave an incandescent light plugged in so you know when the power comes back on.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. These appliances are well insulated, so food will keep for hours if opening the door is kept to a minimum.

Use a flashlight or battery-powered lantern for light. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a dangerous fire hazard. 

If your neighbors' lights are out, too:

  • Call JCP&L. They may not know that your power is out unless you notify them. To help them respond most effectively, use their toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
  • Follow the other steps to take Calling JCP&L's Outage Assistance number
  • Customers should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
  • Follow the recorded prompts to let JCP&L know your power is out. 
  • Customers with a communication disability can report an outage using the appropriate TTY/TDD relay service
  • Please report a downed wire only if you actually see one at your location. Do not assume that because your power is out there must be a wire down somewhere.
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