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Area Roads Closed Following Sudden Storm

Downed power lines and flooding forced police to block off area roads Wednesday afternoon.

Update: As Thursday morning, only Melville Road remained closed due to damage from the storm.

A sudden but intense storm Wednesday afternoon led to numerous road closures and dangerous situations, including downed power lines and flooding around Hillsdale and Westwood and also caused some traffic delays in Washington Township.

A truck ran into a utility pole on Broadway across the street from in Hillsdale, snapping the pole and causing a small fire "about the size of a candle flame" on top of the pole, according to Captain Kathleen LaFrance. Officials had to leave the truck where it was because it was supporting the broken pole, Fire Chief Mark Durst said.

Officials in the area blocked the road and PSE&G responded to the scene.

Firefighters stood by at the scene because a gas leak a few hundred feet away posed a potentially hazardous situation, LaFrance said.

On Wierimus Road in Hillsdale, water became so deep during downpours that four cars got stuck, officials said, forcing police to divert traffic there as well.

A fallen tree branch brought a power line down on Wierimus in Hillsdale near Van Emburgh Avenue in Washington Township. Drivers were diverted away at both Washington and Hillsdale avenues. The wire did not break and no residents lost power, according to Hillsdale Police Sergeant Joseph Mazzeo. The road was reopened that evening.

On Melville Road, water rushing downhill tore up the road surface, and a power line was also knocked down there. Sergeant Mazzeo said the road may remain blocked for several days while repairs are made.

Water from the drainage ditch between Westwood and Emerson caused flooding in the basement of , according to Westwood Fire Chief Jaymee Hodges. As much as much as two feet of water may have entered the building, but sump pumps were able to drain the building and the emergency room remained open.

Stay with Patch for updates on area road closures.

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.

Elaine August 16, 2012 at 02:28 AM
please add email
Jim Leggate (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Elaine- If you'd like to sign up for our email news alerts, go here: http://westwood-hillsdale.patch.com/newsletters

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