Belleville: Heated Shelter Opens Tonight; Schools May be Closed Through Nov. 7

Information on road closures, township services and more

Belleville Township Manager Kevin Esposito and other officials spoke with Patch Wednesday afternoon regarding the ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Overall, Esposito said, the township’s first responders and public works employees “have done an excellent job, as I have witnessed firsthand” in the aftermath of the storm.

Esposito and other officials also said that:

  • To report a downed power line, call 800-436-7734. If you don't speak to an operator, leave a message, and bear in mind that the calls will be addressed in the order they are received.
  • Approximately half the township, including town hall, has power. Over the next few days PSEG crews will be working to restore power in the remaining sections of town, but there is no precise information about when electricity will come back.
  • The Belleville police and fire departments have sufficient gasoline for their needs.
  • The township’s Department of Public Works have cleared all the trees they’re able to. The remaining downed trees are entangled with downed power lines and require a response from PSEG.
  • Main Street flooding has largely receded and stores are open. Stores, restaurants and other businesses are open on Washington Avenue, which has power.
  • Clara Maass Medical Center has power and is operating normally.
  • Police Chief Joseph Rotonda is urging parents to keep children away from any possible hazards.
  • Schools are definitely closed through the end of the week and may not reopen until Nov. 7, school board president Peter Zangari said.
  • The township is offering a heated shelter at the Knights of Columbus, at the corner of Belleville Avenue and Bridge Street, Wednesday night and Thursday night. Shelters will be open by 5 pm, Esposito said.
  • Trash pickup resumes tomorrow, recycling next week.
  • The senior center at Mill Street and Franklin Avenue is closed and all senior events are cancelled.

Blocked or closed streets as of 3 pm Wednesday:

As of Wednesday afternoon, the following streets or intersections were closed to vehicular traffic for downed trees and power lines: Belleville Avenue and Willard Street; motorists traveling north on Willard will be redirected to the west. Franklin Avenue from Clara Maass Hospital to the Newark line is closed. At the intersection of Franklin and Belleville avenues, all motorists are being forced to make right turns regardless of the direction they approach from, Esposito said.

A small section of Washington Avenue is closed between King and Hancox. Mill Street between Union and Franklin avenues is closed. A small section of Union Street near King Street was closed.

Esposito had some final advice for township[ residents coping in the aftermath: “Be neighborly. Be patient, and hope for the best.”

dan rivera October 31, 2012 at 08:16 PM
How is it possible that newark is the main focus and people here in belleville are stuck in the dark. My newborn is stuck in the dark cold and pse&g tells me oh well its 4 to 5 days. Wow.
Paul Milo (Editor) October 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Hey dan - just FYI, Newark still had signifcant outages - maybe 40-50 percent of homes - as of this afternoon. Also, Belleville has a heated shelter for township residents - the Knights of Columbus Hall at Belleville Ave and Bridge St, if you need a warm place to stay tonight
Jesenia November 01, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I also feel newark is the main focus I live in a complex of 12 apartments and we are in the dark with electrical stoves so we are unable to cook or boil water to take wa bath. I say with all the taxes being paid in belleville we should not be left for last. Totally crazy
Michele Updegrove November 01, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Residents on Pleasant Ave are stranded. We are on a dead end street with 14 houses. 3/4 of the residents are seniors. Some of them in their late 80's. A huge tree uprooted the sidewalk and is down covering the street and sidewalks. Nobody can enter or leave the street. An ambulance or medics won't be able to reach anybody. We can't even get to the shelter. Belleville Ave closed from my street to Willet. WE NEED HELP
Debbie Mastroeni November 01, 2012 at 01:42 PM
It is not Belleville ' s decision to keep us in the dark. Pseg took a huge hit at the power plants and they have to dried out in order to be fixed. Homes that have been restored are possibly on the newark grid. The next set may be our turn. Hopefully
Paul Milo (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Hey Michele, any luck there yet?
Paul Milo (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Michele, I just called the Belleville Fire Department and they said they would head up there to check on you.
Spencer Truong November 02, 2012 at 05:23 PM
All my neighbors have gotten power. I live on Dewitt ave. and the majority of the people on Dewitt still don't have power. Why are we still powerless??? I don't understand, the majority of my area already have power. How come were on a different grid and we still don't have power.
Patricia Nieves November 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
We live in belleville and had power for 36 hours and then it went out again. Can someone please explain why or how that happened? Tricia


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