Gusty thunderstorms knock out NJ Transit line, bring down trees
Thousands of JCP&L customers are in the dark and NJ Transit's Morris & Essex Line and Gladstone Branch are both suspended following the line of thunderstorms that crossed the state Monday night.
"Last night's cold front put a definitive end to our warm streak. Temperatures have fallen into the 40s this morning," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "The wind is still pretty gusty too, blowing out of the northwest as high as 40 mph this morning.
Winds gusted to 62 mph in Chatham 61 mph in the Mantoloking section of Brick and 60 mph at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, according to the National Weather Service.
Service on NJ Transit's Morris & Essex Line and the Gladstone Branch is suspended after a catenary pole fell on top of wires near Maplewood late Monday night causing extensive damage. There is no estimate as to when service will be restored.
Morris & Essex and Gladstone tickets/passes will be cross-honored on the Raritan Valley and Montclair-Boonton rail lines, NJ Transit bus and private carrier services.
Several utility poles were knocked down along Route 9 in the Beachwood section of Berkeley Township. A tree fell onto a house in Chatham and a tree landed on two cars parked outside a Lakewood home, according to the National Weather Service. CBS New York reported a tree also fell onto a house in Cedar Grove.
Widespread power outages
As of 7:15 a.m. 11,415 JCP&L customers were without power mostly in Hunterdon (TewksburyTownship), Morris (Chatham, Randolph Township, Rockaway Township and Wharton Borough), Sussex and Warren counties.
PSE&G, Atlantic City Electric and Orange & Rockland showed scattered outages throughout their service areas, according to their respective outage maps.
While the number of outages has shrunk overnight safety rules prohibit utility crews from going up in their bucket trucks to make repairs in winds higher than 40 mph.
Wind fans flames of a North Bergen fire
Winds that kicked up ahead of the arrival of the storms are being blamed for spreading fire in a row of brownstones in North Bergen late Monday afternoon.
"It's just a real horror. Started at 5:00 and spread so quickly that by 7:00 it was all consumed," North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
ABC 7 Eyewitness News reported the fire spread to six houses displacing 35 people from 10 homes. No firefighters or residents were injured and five pets were rescued. One cat was killed in the fire.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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