Area picks up after storm

By Mike Zummo

VERNON The area was left picking up Wednesday after heavy rains and winds dumped water and trees onto roadways and utility lines, leaving about 95,000 people without power at the height of the storm.
Jersey Central Power & Light reported Wednesday morning that 43,000 customers were still without power.
“The high winds and heavy rains caused significant damage, including many downed trees and power lines,” company officials said in a statement.
According to data released by the utility, the hardest hit areas as of Wednesday morning were Fredon and Sparta Townships with 66.5 percent of customers losing power in Fredon and 51.5 percent of customers experiencing outages in Florida.
Vernon Township and Sussex Borough were largely spared with about 1 percent of customers losing power, but nearly 38 percent of users in Wantage experienced power outages.
Lafayette and Ogdensburg also were hit hard with over 40 percent of customers experiencing outages.
As of Wednesday morning, the JCP&L didn’t have any information on restorations.
Several roads were closed in Hamburg and Hardyston throughout the storm. As of this morning in Hamburg, Limekiln, King Cole and Prince streets were closed. Bank Street was closed and Hillside was closed with a detour onto Center Street.
Travel also was difficult in Hardyston as Big Spring Road was closed at Route 94 due to a downed tree. There also was a road closure at Silver Lake Road and Fawn Lake Road by house #2, according to Hardyston Township police.
Sussex County offices opened at 10 a.m. on Wednesday with the exception of employees who worked at the Administrative Center and Cochran House. Those facilities didn’t have power, according to the county office of emergency management.
Offices were expected to resume a normal schedule on Thursday.
The weather isn’t expected to improve by the weekend with rain in the forecast for Saturday, Wantage Township decided to postpone Wantage Day until the fall.
However, the Miss Wantage pageants will still go on as scheduled on Saturday.