SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — The National Weather Service has declared a high wind warning for Scotch Plains-Fanwood Monday, in effect until 9:00 p.m. The strongest winds are expected to occur during the afternoon and evening, it said, and gusts could reach 55 miles per hour. In addition, a flood watch is in effect until 5:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Some Westfield PSE&G customers are experiencing power outages due to the storm. Click here for the company’s outage map. In a press release, PSE&G said it had been preparing for heavy rain and gale-force winds.
"Based on all the weather services' forecasts, we are preparing for a busy day tomorrow. We'll have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with extra tree personnel and equipment at the ready,” John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G, said Sunday. “Our employees are rechecking that all objects are secured at our stations and division headquarters. We are advising them to prepare their own homes for high winds and urge our customers to do the same.”
According to the National Weather Service, rain could be heavy at times tonight with precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Gale-force winds can cause flying debris and bring down trees and power lines, the utility said. It warned that customers should be cautious and stay alert to their surroundings during and after storms and offered these tips:
- Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything it might be in contact with. If a wire falls on or near your car, stay inside the car, call 911, and do not get out until PSE&G de-energizes the line. If you MUST get out of the vehicle because it is on fire, jump as far as possible away from the vehicle, with both feet landing on the ground at the same time, and hop or shuffle away.
- To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run any gasoline powered engine, including generators and snowblowers, in a garage or any other enclosed space.
To report downed wires or power outages, customers can call PSE&G’s Customer Service line at 800-436-PSEG and report outages by logging into their PSE&G account online or by texting “OUT” to 4PSEG (47734).