SOMERVILLE, NJ - The sounds of chain saws and generators in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias have faded since Tuesday after 40-50 mph winds blew through the borough, uprooting trees, snapping limbs and branches, and ripping down power lines.
"Compared to other towns around us, we did pretty well," said Steve Weinman, coordinator of the Somerville Office of Emergency Management.
Both he and Councilman Granville Brady credit crews with the Department of Public Works for their quick response to the storm damage, helping to clear downed trees and branches throughout the borough while the storm was still active.
"They did an outstanding job," Weinman said.
"The storm was less than an hour old and our chipping crew was out in full force clearing debris including some large trees. That is what we do in Somerville: anticipate a problem and solve it," Brady said. "I am proud of our DPW staff."
Weinman said three or four streets were closed for a period of time because of fallen trees that took down wires, and that most of the damage was confined to the eastern side of the 2.5 square-mile borough.
"We had a lot less tree damage than we did with Sandy," he said, a reference to Super Storm Sandy which devasted New Jersey in late October, 2012.
He estimates 800 residences lost power, but that PSEG crews in bucket trucks have been busy restoring power, with roughly 180 customers left in the dark as of noon Thursday. Isaias knocked out power to over 900,000 custiomers in New Jersey.
There were no medical calls as a result of the storm; volunteer fire crews were called out to Raritan to help extinguish a structure fire, according to Weinman.
"All in all, we did okay," Weinman said.