Police & Fire

Downed Tree Takes Out Transformer on Watchung Fork

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A downed tree caused issues on Watchung Fork Thursday. Credits: Guy Kipp
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Credits: Guy Kipp
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Credits: Guy Kipp
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Credits: Guy Kipp
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WESTFIELD, NJ — A tree came down and took a transformer and electrical wires with it on Watchung Fork Thursday morning.

At around 10:30 a.m., the Westfield Fire Department and the Union County Hazmat Unit were called to the scene in the neighborhood behind Franklin Elementary School. A medium-sized tree, wires and a disconnected transformer were laying on the lightly traveled street.

The incident occurred a day and a half after powerful thunderstorms with squall-like winds blew through the area late Tuesday afternoon. Thursday's weather was much different: Moderate drizzle and no wind at all.

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But Battalion Chief Michael Ridge of the Westfield Fire Department said that even without wind, certain trees are a risk to come down in these conditions.

"The ground is so saturated from all the rain we've had, that you don't need wind if a tree is unbalanced," Ridge said. "If all the weight on the tree was on one side, it can happen without any wind."

PSE&G was reporting that 16 customers in the neighborhood were without power, which was expected to be restored by 6 p.m. Thursday.

"We are waiting for the tree company to come out and cut everything up," Ridge said. "They have to put a new pole up and then a new transformer."

 

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