The majority of Caldwell area residents are facing a third night without power Wednesday, after Hurricane Sandy knocked down trees causing widespread outages.
Schools in Caldwell and West Caldwell will be closed for a fourth day on Thursday and North Caldwell and West Essex Regional schools will be closed through the end of the week.
The governor signed an executive order Wednesday telling towns to prohibit Halloween trick-or-treating. The Caldwells have rescheduled the holiday until Monday, Nov. 5.
Residents are getting by with the help of power generators and coolers full of ice to keep perishables cold.
Power was lost almost everywhere in the three towns with the notable exception of Bloomfield Avenue from Forest Avenue to Prospect Street in Caldwell, allowing residents to grab coffee and hot meals at local businesses.
A gas station on Bloomfield Avenue ran out of gas before 3 p.m. Wednesday after serving a line of cars more than 50 deep since the early morning. Gas is becoming scarce in the area and long waits are common at the stations that remain open.
The Caldwell Public Library re-opened Wednesday and saw record capacity, according to Director Adele Puccio.
"People are charging their laptops and cell phones, accessing the Internet, and waiting on line for our public computers," Puccio said.
The library will be open Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The West Caldwell Fire Dept. will be open until 11 p.m. Wednesday as a warming and charging center.
The firehouse is located at 6 Fairfield Avenue. Residents are asked to park in the parking lot of the recreation building, located across the street at 5 Fairfield Ave. The firehouse will open again Thursday evening.
The Caldwell Community Center will remain a warming center during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The center is located at 1 Provost Square, Caldwell. The warming center has a capacity of 200 but is not pet friendly.
The County of Essex has a pet friendly shelter located at the Codey Arena in West Orange.
Caldwell College and Mount Saint Dominic Academy will be closed the remainder of the week.
Regular trash and recycling collection will resume on Thursday in West Caldwell. Tree limbs which are cut to lengths of not more than four-feet and placed into trash cans or bundled into manageable bundles will be collected with normal trash collections.
All streets are re-opened in North Caldwell accept the south end of Mountain Avenue, according to the police chief. North Caldwell was 100 percent without power after Sandy but electricity was beginning to be restored late Wednesday.
The borough's police department is asking residents not to call 9-1-1 asking when power will be restored.
For the latest information regarding power restoration in your area, call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734.
West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta left a reverse 9-1-1 message to township residents Wednesday night.
Tempesta's message said in part: "This storm has caused significant power outages in our area. It is estimated that as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 31 approximately 70 percent of West Caldwell remains without power. We recognize that all of our residents are not receiving this message, but those of you that are receiving this message we ask if you can share this message with your neighbors. Also please check on your neighbors, particularly senior citizens that may need extra assistance."