UPDATE: SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – South Orange has closed all village roads effective at 4 p.m. today, according to a message from Village President Alex Torpey.
Only emergency vehicles are permitted on the streets. In addition, all on-street parking has been suspended.
Hurricane Sandy was about 175 miles south-southeast of New York City as of 2 p.m. and has picked up speed, moving at about 28 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center website.
The storm is bringing maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
Village officials are urging people to stay at home or stay with friends and relatives if possible. South Orange has designated the South Orange Public Library, 65 Scotland Road, as a local storm shelter, according to the village’s website. Pets on a leash will be allowed at the shelter.
Individuals who need to use this shelter must contact the South Orange Police Department at 973-763-3000. A backup shelter at the Seton Hall University fieldhouse will be opened if the library reaches capacity.
The nearest Essex County shelter, at Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange, opened at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Residents who move to a shelter are encouraged to bring bedding, clothes, food, water, medication and any other needed supplies.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall tonight in South Jersey. However, the National Hurricane Center reports that the New Jersey and New York coasts are already experiencing tropical-storm -force winds, which reach up to 70 mph. These winds extend nearly 500 miles from the storm’s center. Hurricane-force winds extend nearly 200 miles from the center.
A high wind warning was issued at 7:42 a.m. by the National Weather Service and is in effect until 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The combination of wind and rain is expected to cause widespread power outages.
According to the PES&G website, some village customers are reporting power outages. South Orange residents who experience a power outage should contact PSE&G directly at 800-436-7734. Downed power lines should be reported immediately by calling 9-1-1.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District has closed all schools today and Tuesday. Village offices, Seton Hall University and state offices also are closed today and Tuesday. Mass transit is shut down (see related story here).