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Westfield Prepares for Winter Storm

Schools throughout the Westfield public school district will hold four-hour sessions today.

The following message was issued by the Town of Westfield:

The Town is closely monitoring the approaching snow event.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning and a Blizzard Warning for parts of Union County effective from 6:00 a.m. Friday to 1:00 p.m. Saturday.   Snow accumulations of 10 inches or more are expected with localized higher amounts possible in developing snow bands. Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s by Friday evening and the strongest winds and heaviest snow will occur Friday night into Saturday morning. 

Heavy snow and winds will make for dangerous driving conditions with visibilities near zero in white out conditions. If at all possible, stay home and stay safe.

Please be assured that the Town has mobilized its resources to manage any storm related issues that may arise. The Department of Public Works has been working to get all our plows and salt trucks ready.  

Residents are advised to prepare for the storm. Common sense steps such as making sure your cell phones are fully charged, that you have water and non-perishable food on hand, that you have a full tank of gas in your car, and that you have a battery operated radio and flashlights available can go a long way in assuring your own safety and comfort.  

To expedite snow plowing operations, please try to keep the streets clear of vehicles. Residents are asked to please park their vehicles in their garages or on their driveways. In addition, Chief David Wayman of the Westfield Police Department advises that parking on the following streets or the identified portions thereof is prohibited when snow has fallen:

  • Central Ave. (entire length);
  • Clark St. (between W. Dudley Ave. & Edgewood Ave.);
  • E Broad St. (between Mountain Ave. & N. Euclid Ave.);
  • Prospect St. (between E. Broad St. & E. Dudley Ave.);
  • South Ave. (between Westfield Ave. & Central Ave.);
  • W. Broad St. (entire length)

Parking is prohibited until after the snow has ceased falling and the roads have been sufficiently plowed.

Should an emergency arise, immediately call 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, call 789-4130 to reach the Fire Department or 789-4000 to reach the Police Department. PSE&G advises to call 1-800-436-PSEG (7734) to report a power outage.

IMPORTANT FIRE DEPARTMENT WARNING: Do not run any type of fuel-powered equipment inside of your home or in any enclosed space such as a garage, even if the garage door is open.  This includes generators, gas grills, charcoal grills and portable fire places.  All equipment should be at least 15 feet from your home. Running fuel powered equipment in or too close to an enclosed structure, including a garage with its door open, can lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.  Make sure all candles and all fires inside an approved wood burning stove or fireplace are attended to at all times.

The Town has reached out to PSE&G for assurance of their readiness. PSE&G issued the following report:
 
PSE&G READIES FOR NOR’EASTER
Additional crews and equipment on hand to restore service

In anticipation of the storm, PSE&G is taking the following steps to ensure that the utility is ready to respond to what may be widespread power outages:

  • Ensuring that all available personnel are ready to respond beginning Friday.
  • Arranging for contractors, including tree crews, to assist the utility’s own skilled workforce.
  • Ensuring that additional supplies, such as poles, transformers and other pole-top equipment, are on hand.
  • Ensuring that all vehicles are fueled and ready to go.
  • Testing generators at utility locations.
  • Coordinating with county and municipal emergency management personnel to inform them of outages and expedite restoration efforts.

Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down. And cold weather can affect the number of calls we receive from customers with insufficient or no heat. 

Depending on the severity of the storm, response times for both electric and gas emergency services may be longer than usual. PSE&G asks for our customers’ patience and cooperation as we work to safely restore service as quickly as possible. As the storm gets closer, the utility will provide information about estimated restoration times.

To report downed wires or power outages, customers should call PSE&G’s Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG. PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G are encouraged to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destination quickly. The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. If you have specific information regarding damage to wires, transformers or poles, we ask that you speak with a representative to provide that information.

Customers with a handheld device, or who are at an alternate location with power, can also report power outages and view the status of their outage by logging in to My Account at pseg.com.

DOWNED POWER LINES

Accumulation of ice and heavy snow may weigh down power lines and as a result cause power lines to come down. Downed wires may appear dead but should always be considered “live.” STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. Parents are urged to check for downed wires in areas where their children might play and to remind the children to stay far away from any wires. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay in the vehicle until help arrives. To report a downed wire, call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street.

Jeff F February 08, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Power out already, and the wind hasn't even started yet. That's now three outages in the last three weeks on the south side of Westfield. Crumbling infrastructure?

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