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CALDWELLS: Hurricane Sandy Update

Emergency information from local officials, updates on school closings and more.

The Caldwells is in the throes of Hurricane Sandy.

The North Caldwell Police Dept. is asking residents to stay off the roads for the time being. Many roads - including Mountain Avenue - are not passable at this time. For more information, see the department's update.

Power outages have been reported along Westville Avenue and in the Cedars. A few trees have fallen, according to residents.

The Caldwell Community Center remains open as a public shelter - but officials may close the building by midnight if no families show up to take advantage of the building.

Schools and many public buildings will be shut on Tuesday and officials are encouraging residents to stay off the roads. A recorded call from West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta was sent out to residents notifying them that garbage service was suspended on Tuesday and to stay safe and off the streets.

Essex County officials have closed public buildings and parks and winds are expected to reach full peak Monday night at 20 to 40 miles per hour.

Here's an at-a-glance look at the information town officials are relaying to residents in the hopes that all will be properly prepared for what is predicted to be a historic and catastrophic storm. 

This story will be updated as news comes in so check back often. Plus, tell us what you are hearing and seeing. Where can we still get batteries, water, etc.? Who and what is sold out? What roads are flooded? Contribute and follow along in the comments here and on Sandy Central

You can also email caldwells@patch.com with updates and upload photos and videos here. (But above all stay safe!) 

CALDWELL

The Office of Emergency Management declared that an emergency exists in Caldwell as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday. 

"Meetings have been held with key borough officials to review storm preparations, plan community and communications outreach and finalize execution of standing operations, adjusted for the realities of this particular storm," Borough Administrator Paul Carelli stated in a release Sunday.

The Department of Public Works has commenced preparatory work in advance of the storm, including clearing catch basins and drains and beginning leaf removal this weekend. The Caldwell Police and Fire Departments, as well as the West Essex First Aid Squad, are implementing the emergency operations plans, including strategic vehicle and equipment deployment and supplemental staffing as necessary.

If you know someone who has special needs please contact the Non-Emergency Caldwell Police number at 973-226-2600.

In the event of significant flooding or other conditions that render homes uninhabitable, we have prepared for opening our shelter at the Caldwell Community Center at 1 Provost Square. Call 973-228-7665.

If and when the decision to open the shelter is made additional details will be available on the Boro of Caldwell website and communicated through all available channels.

Residents do not need to evacuate their homes at this point, unless special medical or at-risk conditions exist. Residents are advised to take precautions as identified below:

  • Have plenty of fresh water at your disposal
  • Have all cell phones fully charged
  • Have all emergency and contact numbers available
  • Have working flashlights with fresh batteries available
  • Inform friends or relatives of your whereabouts
  • Stay inside your home away from all windows, which should be shut and shuttered, if possible
  • Store inside or securely tie down all lawn furniture, or other loose outside items
  • Remove propane tanks from outdoor grills and place in a secure location away from where flooding could occur
  • Avoid all contact with any downed or sagging wires, and be mindful of standing water surrounding a downed or sagging power line

In order to keep catch basins clear, borough officials are asking residents to not place any leaves into the streets until the upcoming storm has passed. "We want to make sure our streets drain properly which will reduce the potential for flooding," Carelli stated in a release.

The borough has posted information on what to do if your basement floods, how to keep food safe in the event of a power outage and more on its website.

WEST CALDWELL

The West Caldwell Office of Emergency Management is urging residents to plan and prepare for the potential damaging winds and flooding resulting from Hurricane Sandy. Leaves should be cleared from from curbs and catch basins. Leaves left at the curb and on catch basins will result is storm sewer backups which will further result in flooding of the roadways and basements.

Residents are urged to prepare themselves for Hurricane Sandy and its anticipated damaging winds and torrential rainfall. Information regarding preparations can be found on the town's website

In addition, the Township will be updating the website with news and announcements regarding the storm. Residents should visit www.westcaldwell.com where there is lots of information on emergency and hurricane preparedness.

NORTH CALDWELL

From a Nixle update: "Residents are advised to make final preparations for Hurricane Sandy. We would also like to ask residents to clear any leaves or debris that may be blocking storms drains near their homes. Secure loose objects such as patio furniture and Halloween decorations. You should also be prepared for extended power outages and road closures due to storm damage and possible flooding." 

From a Nixle update at 9 p.m. Sunday: "North Caldwell residents are advised to shelter in your home for the duration of this dangerous storm. High winds and driving rain will make for hazardous conditions outside. Use 911 to report hazards to life and safety. Call 973-226-0800 for all other questions and requests. Do not approach downed wires. Notify us at 973-226-0800 of any damage to utility wires and trees. Avoid travel."

SIGN-UP FOR EMERGENCY UPDATES

Caldwell—Sign up for emergency notifications on the borough's website.

North Caldwell—Stay informed throughout this storm or any city emergency by signing up for Nixle messages on the Borough of North Caldwell website.

West Caldwell—Visit www.westcaldwell.com and sign up for "Swiftreach 9-1-1". This is a free service that allows residents to register to receive emergency alerts via telephone from the West Caldwell Police Department. Residents are encouraged to register with the service using home and mobile phone numbers. 

Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools—The school district has a new emergency notification system. Parents and staff are encouraged to sign in and customize their settings by going to https://instantalert.honeywell.com.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS

The following schools have announced that they will be closed due to the storm.

  • Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools—Monday and Tuesday
  • Mount Saint Dominic Academy—Monday and Tuesday
  • Caldwell College—Monday and Tuesday
  • West Essex Regional Schools—Monday and Tuesday
  • North Caldwell Schools—Monday and Tuesday

OTHER CANCELLATIONS/CLOSINGS

  • St. Aloysius Church has canceled religion education classes. Details here.
  • New Jersey and Essex County offices will be closed Monday.
  • Borough of Caldwell will be closed Monday.
  • Township of West Caldwell offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Congregation Agudath Israel will be closed Monday.
  • NJ Transit has suspended all service until further notice.
  • All DeCamp buses are cancelled Monday.
  • Caldwell Public Library is closed Monday.
  • West Caldwell Public Library will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • The West Essex Regional Board of Education meeting scheduled for Monday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. has been postponed until Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
  • PATH will suspend service at midnight and airports will cease flight operations tonight. 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU LOSE POWER

In the event of power outages, residents should contact PSE&G to report the outages. Residents can contact PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG.

If there are lines down and arcing on the ground, residents must stay clear and contact 9-1-1 to report the emergency. 

Caroline October 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Has Caldwell considered a grace period for 4th quarter taxes which are due Wednesday, November 1?
Teresa Akersten (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Caldwell Public Library closed today. Still trying to confirm garbage and recycling pick up this week. Please post if you have heard anything.
Teresa Akersten (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Update from West Caldwell OEM: Due to expected extreme weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy, garbage collection has been cancelled for Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Residents are directed not to place garbage at the curb for the duration of the storm.
Teresa Akersten (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 01:12 PM
@Caroline Borough Administrator says there is always a grace period until the 10th so there should be no problem paying taxes.
Teresa Akersten (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Update from Caldwell Borough Administrator: Garbage/recycling collection has been suspended for Tuesday. A call has not yet been made for Wednesday. If you put your garbage out Monday, it may have been picked up.
Teresa Akersten (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 03:56 PM
This just in! Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools will be closed Tuesday, Oct. 30 and all after-school activities are cancelled.
Chris Wysocki October 29, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Trinity Academy closed Monday and Tuesday. Cloverleaf closing today at 4 PM, might reopen Wedneday!

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