Outages Decline as Latest Storm Strikes Bernards
The Hills community has power restored, overall outages decline to less than 5,000.
Most of The Hills community has power restored and townwide outages have dropped to 4,376, according to the Wednesday night update on the Bernards Township website.
But powerless areas persisted in the northern part of the township, although the center of Basking Ridge had power back, and many businesses were open as usual on Tuesday. Much of The Hills had power restored, but some townhouse neighborhoods remained in the dark and cold on Tuesday overnight. Some of the Hills Highland Village Center businesses have been open and running on generators, while the Riverwalk and 100 Marketplace Malls have been fully operational all week.
Among other warming centers, the Somerset Hills YMCA's Riverwalk location has been open to members and non-members until 10:30 p.m., offering showers and a place to go.
Hamilton Crest in The Hills regains power
The Hamilton Crest section of The Hills reportedly regained power as of about 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge serving hot meal Wednesday evening
The Presbyterian Church House, on the corner of Finley Avenue and East Oak Street, is open all day until 7 p.m. and will be serving hot meals from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening. All are welcome.
However, slow progress made in the recovery after Sandy, which hit last Monday night, Oct. 29, now is complicated by a nor'easter expected to affect the area on Wednesday, along with wintry temperatures.
According to the National Weather Service, Basking Ridge was at 39 degrees as of 1:30 p.m., with an overnight low of 33 degrees expected. Rain, snow and sleet are predicted from Wednesday through early Thursday, with one to three inches predicted on Wednesday, and possibly another inch or two on Wednesday night.
A high wind advisory will remain in effect, according to a township update that also said this creates a particularly dangerous situation in areas of the township where storm debris and electrical equipment already is in a weakened state.
"Residents should err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst as we hope for the best," the website said.
However, residents in some areas without power have left to stay in hotels or with friends or families. The shelter at Bernards High School in Bernardsville remains open as the only shelter in Somerset County, and overnight attendees at that shelter reportedly were on the rise on Tuesday.
"Please help your friends and neighbors as much as you can. If you have a generator running or have one that you are no longer using, please reach out to your friends and neighbors who may need power for their sump pumps or could use an available generator to stay warm until their power is restored," the township website said.
On Tuesday, in its 6 p.m. update, the township website that 6,526 JCP&L customers remained without power. At 9 p.m. on Monday, about 6,700 customers were without power, although Spring Ridge and The Cedars finally had been turned back on Monday evening.
Bernards Township schools now will be closed for the rest of the week, according to school officials and web updates. The Bernards Board of Education now has a limited website for continuing updates notifications online again.
When school returns, the website said that residents should be prepared for limited transportation and cafeteria service, possibly shortened days or split schedules.
A number of places for warming and charging up electronics devices will be open during the day:
The Bernards Township Library now is open for regular hours as a warming and recharging area, and will remain open through 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Library Director Ruth Lufkin said on that wifi is working at the library, and that residents are watching election results.
The Somerset Hills YMCA in Riverwalk was scheduled to open to both members and non-members at 5:15 a.m. on Monday, providing showers, warmth and facilities. The Riverwalk Mall and nearby 100 Marketplace Mall both were functioning with power and providing food and services.
The Fellowship Deaconry at 3575 Valley Road in the Liberty Corner section also is among those offering temporary housing, warm meals, and kids activities. More information is available on the website, http://www.deaconry.org/hurricanehelp.
Millington Baptist Church at 520 King George Rd. has regained power by Tuesday, and the church's new building is open for warmth, charging, Internet, and free coffee.
Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church on Church Street in Liberty Corner Village is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at center court (at the rear of the campus) for those who need a place to warm up, charge phones, access the internet and have a warm cup of coffee. The center also has hot showers for those who need to wash up, but they ask you bring your own toiletries and towels.
The Senior Wellness Center on Mount Airy Road in Basking Ridge will remain closed on Wednesday and Thursday, according to information from Bernardsville Borough.
The Chabad Jewish Center at Basking Ridge also has been powered up since Monday, and is open for coffee, warmth and wifi, said Rabbi Yitchok Moully.