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Thousands Without Power, Residents Search For Electricity, Wi-Fi

Hurricane Sandy caused widespread power outages in Westwood, Washington Township and Hillsdale.

Updated at noon Wednesday.

Many Westwood, Hillsdale and Washington Township residents without power were searching for electrcity and Wi-Fi Wednesday.

As of Wednesday morning, PSE&G estimated Westwood and Washington Township each had between 2,001 and 5,000 customers without power. Hillsdale had dropped to fewer than 2,000 outages, according to the company. According to the Department of Energy, 62 percent of New Jersey was without power Tuesday morning.

By noon Wednesday, Goldberg's Bagels and Starbucks in Westwood, Starbucks in Hillsdale and David's Bagels in Washington Township had all reopened and were packed. At the Westwood Starbucks, people were sitting on every available surface, including cardboard boxes and the bathroom floor.

Kings in Hillsdale and A&P in Washington Township were both open and busy. People searching for gas were also lining up at open gas stations. There were 32 cars lined up to buy gas at Petro Two on Broadway Tuesday and drivers were backed up for three blocks to buy gas at the Lukoil in Washington Township.

Restoring power to residential customers could take four or five days, according to Washington Township officials.

Schools were set to be closed for a third day Wednesday because of continuing power outages.

Crews were out in all three towns clearing fallen trees and repairing broken telephone poles. Residents were also clearing their yards of leaves and branches.

In Westwood, Bob Burdette looked on as a crew secured a damaged tree which was leaning precariously over his Washington Avenue home.

"It's scary," Burdette said. "Very scary, but I'm lucky."

In Hillsdale, the Misciagnas were less lucky. A tree fell in a neighbor's yard and landed on their roof, sending debris across their living room and damaging the ceiling and lights in the kitchen and dining room.

"It sounded like a bomb," Winifred Misciagna said.

Fortunately, no one was in the room when it happened Monday afternoon.

"It's just the house," Misciagna said. "It could be worse."

Many local roads were still closed Wednesday, including portions of Hillsdale Avenue and Kinderkamack Road in Hillsdale, Mill Street in Westwood and Van Emburgh Avenue in Washington Township. Hillsdale Police recommended that residents stay off the road while cleanups continued.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

B@B October 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Thanks to officials in Westwood and Hillsdale for the updates. Wish our good-for-nothing town government in Washington Twp. was as on the ball for its citizens as it is for the business interests that want to take over the town on their terms.
Westwoodian since '91 October 30, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Thank you to all the DPW employees and First Responders who kept us safe during the storm and are keeping us safe in the clean-up. We're very lucky to have such a dedicated group of men and women.

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