OGDENSBURG, NJ- Post Hurricane Sandy issues created complications in different parts of the county today. Downed lines on Rt. 23 North at the Hardyston School closed the Highway at Rt. 517/Munsonhurst Road in Franklin today. Cars were redirected via detour signs through Ogdensburg’s Rt. 517, right onto Kennedy Street to Cork Hill Road, to the Franklin Pond, and back out to Rt. 23 at Rt. 631 at the Franklin Diner.
According to Sgt. Leo Kinney, Franklin Police Department, two telephone poles were downed in the storm, one completely down, the other snapped in half. The wires were laying in Rt. 23. Kinney said this was the worst effect of the storm, other than that, there were power outages sporadically throughout the town.
By 11 a.m., traffic headed towards Sparta had backed up into Franklin. Traffic was very heavy in all directions.
Ogdensburg was greatly spared from Hurricane Sandy. Wayne Ingerto, Ogdensburg Borough Council President said, “We were prepared. The Road Department lowered the level at Heater’s Pond by three feet. Fortunately, we didn’t get a lot of rain.One resident on North Clark Street had a tree come down on his house, very little damage, but it tore the wires off. There are a lot of people without power. One half of the town gets their electric from Sparta, they are out. There is no timeline for when it will come back on.”
He said that the mayor is in touch with JCP&L daily, and will be updating the town as soon as any new information is obtained.
People are coping in a variety of ways. Those without heat are looking for firewood. A call to Jim’s Tree Experts of Sparta, showed that Sparta was hit very hard.
“Eight trees came down on one house in Sparta,” a representative from the company, who did not want to be named, told The Alternative Press. On West Mountain Road, near the high school, the bleachers are gone, and the billboards are all ripped off. Lake Mohawk had total devastation. One woman called crying, she is pregnant, her house is destroyed. And it’s call after call after call after call.”
“Our guys are working around the clock, they just can’t get around to everyone. One person that called has 20 trees down in his driveway and another 70 in his yard. Another call had 45 trees down,” the company's representative added.
The Coombs family, from Ogdensburg was well prepared. They bought a generator from Bassani Power in Sussex one day after Hurricane Irene last year.
“No one else had any,” said Jodi Coombs, “they were expecting a truck in. We had to pay by credit card over the phone, then sit and wait for the truck to come in.”
The generator cost $800 and has 6,000 watts of power.
“We got it hard wired to the house, which cost another $600. This was by far the best money we ever spent, considering this is the fourth time we’ve lost power: Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, the snow storm of last October and now this," she added. "The generator is powered by gas, it holds six gallons. The power went out Monday night at 5p.m. We have a few five gallon cans to fill it, but now it’s hard to find gas.”
“At 7:50 this morning, the Delta Station was just removing the cones to open up, and there was a line of cars down Glenbrook Road,” said Coombs.
All gas stations in Ogdensburg, and the Lukoil in Franklin were closed by noon today, although a text from a neighbor said they were getting a delivery at 1p.m.
The Coombs family’s generator was installed by a licensed electrician, and enables them to run their stove, furnace, electricity, and hot water heater.
“We are not running it that much, just in the morning, and from dinner til bedtime," Coombs said.
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