Health & Wellness

Power Returns to Livingston as Township Prepares for Next Storm

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LIVINGSTON, NJ — At the height of Winter Storm Quinn, 50 percent of Livingston’s homes and businesses were without power, but as of 3 p.m. on Monday, Livingston Mayor Ed Meinhardt has confirmed that less than 2 percent remain without power.

Township Manager Barry Lewis, Jr., who served his first official week as manager during the week of Winter Storm Quinn, has been steadily updating residents on the status of power restoration, debris removal and more. He reported that 55 of Livingston’s 3,320 JCP&L customers and 168 of Livingston’s 8,429 PSEG customers remained without power as of Sunday afternoon. Both services indicated to the township that all customers should have their power restored before Tuesday.

“Our Department of Public Works (DPW), Livingston fire, Livingston police and the first aid responders—employees and volunteers—were absolutely wonderful throughout this storm,” said Meinhardt. “Many of them worked three and four days straight without going home. Many of their own homes did not have power, and they left their families without power to continue the work that they were doing. We give them nothing but applause and gratitude for everything that they’ve done.”

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Meinhardt added that the DPW was diligent in clearing as many streets as were deemed safe to clear on Thursday morning, while others could not be cleared until it was safe to proceed due to live wires that fell in the roadway.

In addition to extending his gratitude to DPW Superintendent Mike Anello, whose crew was “remarkable” during the last few days, Meinhardt also thanked Lewis, who came to work every day from his home in Rockaway and “was wonderful leading us throughout,” and Acting Town Manager Russ Jones, who was also at work every day despite having a tree fall on his own house and was “an invaluable resource to this town, as he always is and always will be.”

“Seeing the spirit that this town has, whether it be volunteers, employees or residents, really makes me very, very proud to be the mayor of this town,” said Meinhardt. “You really see all the good stuff that comes out during times like this and have neighbors are helping neighbors.”

The DPW has worked around the clock since Wednesday’s storm to provide access and assistance to utility crews to complete repairs and restorations, and all township streets are now open thanks to their commitment to clearing them.

In his most recent update, Lewis reminded residents that the township is responsible for removing any trees and limbs that continue to fall within the public right of way. As of this report, the DPW continues to work diligently to remove trees, limbs and debris from all roadways. However, property owners are also reminded that they are responsible for any trees and limbs that fell on their private properties. 

According to the township, limbs and brush “smaller than four inches in diameter, cut in lengths no longer than four feet, and bundled in bundles weighing no more than 50 pounds” can be placed curbside for collection with regular garbage pickup. The removal and disposal of larger limbs and trees that have fallen on their property must be privately arranged.

As the township prepares for additional snowfall and heavy winds this week, beginning as early as Monday evening, cooperation of all property owners is appreciated during this challenging time.

“As the next storm approaches, we ask all residents to take caution, to listen to the warnings if any do come out and to keep looking up so nothing falls down on them,” said Meinhardt. “While, as of now, they’re not expecting a significant snowfall in our area, I am a little concerned about the weather reports showing high winds. That does worry me, but hopefully everybody will remain safe and the town will weather through this one as well.”

As required by ordinance, all property owners should remove snow from sidewalks on their properties within 12 daylight hours following the end of the snowfall.

Although the township was lenient in its enforcement of this ordinance due to the magnitude of last week’s snowfall, property owners remain responsible for clearing sidewalks. The township is beginning enforcement again, with exceptions made for situations where downed power lines prevent the sidewalk from being cleared.

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