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Sandy Forces Cities to Scuttle Halloween Plans

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie postponed trick-or-treating for safety concerns, while New York canceled its traditional parade

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order which postponed Halloween celebrations across New Jersey until Monday, November 5.

    Amid power outages, transit shutdowns and catastrophic storm damage from Hurricane Sandy, many communities scuttled or pushed back their Halloween plans over safety fears.

    The massive Halloween Parade that wends its way through New York City's Greenwich Village was cancelled for the first time since it began in 1975, NBC New York reported, as much of downtown Manhattan, including the parade route, remained in the dark.

    And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order postponing Halloween throughout his storm-ravaged state until Monday, citing concerns over the dangers posed by outages, fallen live power lines, downed trees, floodwaters and debris, NBC Philadelphia reported.

    "I’ve taken this action to minimize additional risks to lives and the public safety," Christie said. “In too many communities in our state, the damage and losses from this storm are still being sorted out, and dangerous conditions abound even as our emergency management and response officials continue their work."

    He said contingency plans were also being considered for Election Day, and he urged local officials to call off, or call for a delay in, Halloween celebrations until next week.

    Many mayors and other officials in other affected states, too, had already done just that by Wednesday. That left families who already faced massive power outages and catastrophic damage from the storm now also facing a patchwork of Halloween plans.

    Some Connecticut towns cancelled trick-or-treating, and institutions like the Mystic Aquarium planned alternate events for children. Harwinton and Burlington rescheduled the holiday for Saturday, while New Haven, Milford and other cities moved it to Wednesday, Nov. 7, NBC Connecticut reported.

    Greenwich had not yet set an alternate Halloween date, while other affected cities' mayors urged parents and children to be particularly careful of possible downed trees and power lines and of areas without power.

    Several Washington, D.C., suburbs also shuffled their plans, NBC Washington reported. One hard-hit Bethesda, Md., neighborhood rescheduled trick-or-treating until the weekend, and Reston, Va., residents were advised to begin trick-or-treating early and avoid taking some of the local pathways that had not been cleared yet.

    In New York, where hundreds of thousands in Manhattan and in Long Island were still without power and transit, utility company Con Edison warned trick-or-treaters to watch out for downed wires, puddles and intersections in blacked-out areas and carry flashlights, The Associated Press reported.

    But in Delaware, Halloween was continuing on the traditional Oct. 31 as planned. Major cities were sticking to Wednesday plans, albeit with curfews in some cases. So was storm-ravaged Rehoboth Beach, NBC Philadelphia reported.

    "You can't make kids cry," the beach community's town manager Gregory Ferrese said.

    In Hoboken, N.J., just across the Hudson River from New York City, the residents of one condo building where power remained out were celebrating Halloween before dark on Wednesday afternoon.

    Condo president Kathy Zucker said that children in the building, including her three under age six, were going door to door in their costumes as early as 1 p.m., NBC New York reported.

    "They are going a little stir crazy," she said, "but they are hanging in there."