SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – Severe thunderstorms hit Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Plainfield, Westfield and other surrounding towns around 5:00 p.m. Saturday.

The Borough of Fanwood has warned residents to stay away from the downed power lines on Helen Street and on Midway and Hunter Avenues following the flash thunderstorms. 

"Do not approach any downed wires. Always assume they are live and extremely dangerous," said Fanwood police chief Richard Trigo. "If you are experiencing a power outage please call the Fanwood Police Department at 908-322-5000 and P.S.E.G. at 1-800-436-7734."

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PSE&G is aware of a power outage in Fanwood and estimates power will be restored by 10:30 p.m. Scotch Plains also has numerous downed wires and trees. Drivers and pedestrians are urged to use extra caution and stay away from all downed wires.

According to the Township Facebook page, Scotch Plains Police, Fire & Rescue as well as Public Works & PSEG crews are out and working as quickly as possible to address all emergencies & damage.

"We urge all residents to stay away from any downed wires," said Mayor Al Smith. "If you have an emergency please call 911."

In Scotch Plains, trees fell on Lake Avenue between Raritan Road and Lake Road, said Bob Burslem, a Westfield resident who reported stopping his car just in front of a flaming power line shortly after 5 p.m.

Speaking from a cell phone at around 5:30 p.m. Burslem told TAPinto Westfield he saw what appeared to be a way to circumvent the hazard.

“There are power lines that are down that are on fire in front of me, and there are big trees that are down behind me,” he added.

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