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Fair Lawn Police: We're Getting Hammered

Hurricane force wind gusts have had a major impact in Fair Lawn, but flooding has been minimal.

Hurricane force winds and pounding rains have ripped trees from the earth, gnarled power lines and blown transformers, sending sparks shooting into the night sky and leaving thousands without power in Fair Lawn Monday evening.

"We're getting hammered right now," said Lt. Derek Bastinck, who noted the department has been hit with a barrage of calls for transformer explosions, live wires down and trees crashing into homes over the past few hours. 

By 9:15 p.m., the emergency operations center had taken 40 calls for downed trees, 17 for downed wires and 14 for fire alarms. The Fair Lawn Rescue Squad has performed nearly three-dozen rescues of residents whose homes were damaged by trees or whose basements were flooded, borough manager Tom Metzler said.

According to PSE&G's Outage Map, between 5,001 and 10,000 Fair Lawn residents are without power -- the majority of them in the Radburn School area east toward Saddle River Road -- and they're likely to remain that way for an extended period of time.

Emergency Management Coordinator Ira Marks said PSE&G won't even send its workers out until wind gusts drop below 30 miles per hour -- which isn't expected until 8 p.m. Tuesday -- and the utility has said it could be a week before power is restored.

Midland Avenue at Cambridge Road and Plaza Road at Berdan Avenue are the two most major roadways blocked by downed trees, but multiple smaller roads also remain impassable. Radburn Road and parts of Maple Avenue near Glen Rock are also blocked.

While powerful wind gusts that have reached nearly 80 miles per hour at times have caused extensive damage across town, earlier flood warnings have failed to materialize.

Metzler said evacuations are not being considered because only one resident reported flooding in his basement and neither the Passaic nor the Saddle river's water levels are not expected to reach flood stage. 

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Observher October 30, 2012 at 02:53 AM
In usual fashion, the Clowncil is neither heard or seen
misterman October 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
@MJM how bout the Ambualnce....they have been staffing 4 ambualnces since 12pm today....
Jack Donohue October 30, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Actually THE FACT IS council members have been working feverishly all during this storm. Spending the storm right at the Command Center and dropping by at firehouses and other emergency locations all over town. They have been too busy doing what has to be done insuring our safety to call and check in with YOU, "Observher". I hope you can forgive them
StorminSandy October 30, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Jack that's what you call working? The men and women in emergency services are risking their lives out there and this is the best you can post? Christie bashes public employees, I don't hear him bashing right now!
Brent Pohlman October 30, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I think Jack Donohue knows a thing or two about emergency services and operations since he is a 30 year member of fair lawn fire company # 4 and he is especially qualified to speak about this particular emergency and how it was handled since he stood on stand by at co 4 all through the night ready to respond to any resident in need.
Brent Pohlman October 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM
@MJM my response was not directed to you. There was another comment following yours that was critical of Jack. This comment was made by a poster who created the name today and appears to have since deleated it.
Brent Pohlman October 30, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Oh no I stand corrected "storminsandy" comment is still there, but there was nothing political about my comment. An emergency is no time for politics and the town as a whole has come together to address the communities needs.
Janice October 30, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I've heard that Deputy Mayor Cosgrove was in the Command Center all day and well into the night. When he left the Command Center he went to all 4 firehouses, Rescue & the ambulance corps & thanked all the volunteers on behalf of the mayor & council.
Zak Koeske October 30, 2012 at 10:40 PM
When I saw John early this afternoon, he was going on 30+ hours without sleep.
D October 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM
And don't forget the men and women of the ambulance corps. who help save lives
jack miller October 31, 2012 at 12:19 AM
please fix the dangerous downed wire at midland and cambridge. visibility is poor and this is a tragedy waiting to happen. concerned resident
Zak Koeske October 31, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Agreed, Jack. It's up to PSE&G as to when they are able to come. The borough workers can't clear blockages that involve wires.
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