Storm Leaves Live Wires, Closes NJ Schools

By Brian Thompson
|  Monday, Jan 25, 2010  |  Updated 6:12 PM EDT
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Special Weather Report: Wet Windy Monday

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Special Weather Report: Wet Windy Monday

Janice Huff has the latest on watches across the tri-state area
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The same storm that tossed construction debris near New York's City Hall caused widespread havoc in the suburbs.

Schools in Tenafly, Dumont and Wayne were shut down for a lack of power.

"Yup hahah" txted the teen-aged daughter of this reporter when he reached out to her to confirm that her school closed early for the day.

On Canterbury Court in Teaneck, you could hear the "bzzzt" of a live electric line arcing, sparking and smoking on a sidewalk just a short block off well-traveled Teaneck Road.

"A loud kind of thud, sounded like a generator or something went off," said longtime resident Alona Shapiro, whose home is about four homes away from the arcing cable, and the tree that fell and caused the break.

At its worst, Jersey Central Power and Light said it had 13,000 customers (probably around 30,000-40,000 people) without power at mid-morning Monday in central and northwest Jersey. By mid-afternoon, fewer than half that number were still without electricity.

Teaneck seemed to get some of the worst of the storm. A major power line next to busy Route 4 was shut down as one towering pole leaned over toward a side street. It appeared that was the cause for the shutdown of Teaneck High School, just a few yards away. It also caused major backups on Rt. 4 heading into New York(Of course, once they got to the GW Bridge, motorists would have faced another major delay as the upper deck was closed when a truck overturned, possibly because of the high winds).

As for homeowner Shapiro, it was a morning without "the TV, the coffee machine, the Internet and (perhaps worst of all) the hairdryer too, obviously."

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