Police: Stay Home as Crews Clean

Public works crews continue to clear roads as many are left without power

With traffic signals out at many major intersections in Manchester, authorities continue to ask residents to stay home if possible. 

Signals along Route 37 have no power, making turns on the state highway very dangerous, said Manchester police Capt. Lisa Parker.

"People should not go out unless it's an emergency," she said. "Many of the traffic signals are out and they cannot be manned."

Police are experiencing a high call volume and cannot direct traffic at most intersections, according to the captain. Non-emergency calls to report downed trees and wires should wait, though police are keeping a track of all reports they receive.

Few were displaced because of the storm, Parker said, and those who had to leave home were able to find shelter with neighbors.

Trees and power lines are down throughout the township, including in Pine Lake Park where some roads are closed as wires hang too low for cars to pass.

"The wind was blowing really heavy," said Julie Beaubien, who saw an about 50-foot tree fall and nearly strike a car parked in the driveway of Beverly Dowd's home at about 10 p.m. Monday.

"With one loud crack, it came down."

Public works crews have been on the job nonstop since 7 a.m. Monday remain on the streets clearing debris left by Hurricane Sandy.

"We're going down every single street in Manchester to make sure they're cleared," said Department of Public Works Director Stephen Stanziano.

The director said that the main priority is to have streets cleared so emergency responders can tend to storm damage. 

"We never experienced something like this before," he said.

Over 17,000 JCP&L customers in Manchester and Lakehurst were left without power as of Monday night. Utility crews were spotted in Pine Lake Park Tuesday morning, but Stanziano said it was not clear when power may be restored as crews must ensure it is safe before they can work.

Public works crews have been monitoring the water level in Pine Lake for flooding and Stanziano said that levels remained constant throughout the storm.

"At this point, we don't anticipate any problems because of that," he said.

Water and sewer service is working normally in the eastern and western sections of the township, Stanziano said.

Stanziano said that his crews prepared for the storm late last week. Along with a dedicated staff, cleanup is getting done.

"You've got to be ready. You've got to have a plan," he said. "I've got guys who would go to war for me."

Superintendent of Schools David Trethaway said that, so far, he was able to check Ridgeway Elementary School and Manchester Township Middle School, both of which had some downed trees but no damage. The administration has not yet made a decision on whether students will return to class on Wednesday.


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