Snow Siege: The Great Dig-out Begins

If you’re still on the inside looking out, you can postpone the inevitable emergence into today’s snow for only so long. The views out my own windows –the front facing east, and the back facing west — offer a look at the two options for today.

Out my back window (below, right) at Canterbury Park in Montclair’s south end — the favorite sledding spot for this corner of Baristaville — is the promise of a classic snow day. While still untouched this morning, surely within an hour’s time, the park will be packed with snowsuit-clad sled riders zipping down the long, mellow east slope of the hill.

Looking out my front window (top and below left), though, is more of a reality check.

People will eventually need to dig out and prepare to resume post-holiday snowstorm life. If you’ve still got houseguests (or are reading this from your mother-in-law’s house in Oshkosh) you might need to keep the air mattress inflated for another day, as most transit is still shut down (updates below).

Last night at around 5:15 p.m., BNN reported power outages in Nutley, due to a downed power line on Passaic and Centre Street. We also heard about some outages in Montclair. Karen Johnson from PSE&G’s corporate communications office just sent an update from this morning’s report of 800 homes in the state without power. She couldn’t specify about how many of these outages are in Baristaville, due to the magnitude of the emergency. Here’s her 1 p.m. update:

At this time, PSE&G is reporting about 1,300 customers without power due to the gusty winds. Outages are scattered throughout the utility’s service area.

–The state’s largest utility has extra personnel and supplies on hand to assure that electric and gas storm-related emergencies are handled safely and promptly.

— Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down. And cold weather can affect the number of calls we receive from customers with insufficient or no heat.

— Customers are advised to stay away from all downed power lines. Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. To report a downed wire, call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street.

— To report a power outage, call PSE&G’s Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG.

— Depending on the severity of a winter storm, response times for both electric and gas emergency services may be longer than usual.

Here are some bits of official information about snow-related services and conditions in Millburn, which can generally apply to Baristaville at large:

Millburn Township officially reports over 20-plus inches of snow and drifting in some areas of up to 6-feet. The police department is reporting many disabled cars throughout the township, with tow trucks currently working to remove them. They want to remind the public that during the State of Emergency there will be no parking on any state, county, or local highway/roadway.

“We need the roads clear so that snow plows can clean the streets. People parking on streets are subject to be summoned and towed. If you can stay home today, please do not go out,” Lieutenant Peter T. Eakley, Millburn’s Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, stated in a press release.

As the DPW continues to clear the town’s 300-streets, they remind the public not to shovel or plow snow back into the streets. The Millburn Fire Department request that people shovel out any fire hydrants near their homes. The Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad and Millburn American Red Cross reminds people to be careful when shoveling. For your own safety if you are not physically fit, get someone to do your snow removal.

Newark Airport remains closed at this time.

Continental Airlines sent this email message to customers this morning:

Newark Airport remains closed & many flights today will be canceled. We hope to resume limited flights late today if the airport opens as planned. We continue to have high call volume & appreciate your patience in getting through to our agents. Flights for later dates are very full. As we resume operations, it may be possible to change to earlier dates/times. Check latest flight status on

As of 3 p.m., NJ Transit is reporting that rail service will continue to operate on an enhanced weekend schedule, subject to 15-30 minute delays due to weather conditions, through December 28. Bus service will remain suspended at least through Tuesday morning, however Newark Light Rail service restored at Broad Street Station. You can get updated information from or by calling (973) 275-5555. reminds customers to travel today, only if absolutely necessary.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service is suspended systemwide due to weather-related operating conditions.
Bus service remains suspended systemwide until further notice. There is currently no estimate on when bus service may be restored.
Newark Light Rail is operating on a modified schedule with trains every 20-30 minutes.
Access Link paratransit service is suspended.

In Glen Ridge, the morning Jitney service has been canceled.

The Park Street Y in Montclair will be closed today, The Family Center and the Live Yer’s program is cancelled for tomorrow – Monday, December 27.

Montclair Township sent a snow removal advisory at 2:25 p.m.:

Snow removal is under way, with crews plowing major roadways first to ensure they are open and passable to allow emergency vehicles to gain access to all parts of the township. Lower volume streets are generally last to be cleared, however crews will continue snow removal until all streets have been cleared.

Please note that refuse and recycling are suspended today and may be suspended tomorrow (December 28) until snow clearing is completed. Please cans from the roadway so they are not damaged by the plows.

Residents are reminded not to blow snow into the roads or clear their cars off into the roadways as it will impede our snow clearing activity.

We’ll update with additional storm information as we get it. In the meantime, be careful out there, and have fun if you’re so inclined.

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  1. A car got stuck in the intersection near me last night. They are attempting to tow it out now, but out of 3 tow trucks none can manage to move. BPD is here, and they are plowing around the cars now, but not really clearing the street.

    So anyone see any salt trucks out there?

  2. streets barely cleared around here. near watchung plaza. still,can’t believe there are poeple out, racing around. with car roofs still covered in snow. idiots.

  3. I do understand that some folks simply don’t like winter or snow. But this born and bred Bostonian (although I’ve lived here and in NYC since 1978) loves it! Ditto my hubby (grew up in Chicago). All three of my dogs love the snow too — even our new Scottish Terrier puppy.
    I loved walking around NYC yesterday late afternoon, and Don and I have been out today too (and not just shoveling).
    I also like fall, and spring, but anything over 75-80 degrees is just too hot.
    Happy New Year everyone!

  4. 7:44 PM. Anyone seen a plow in the vicinity of Morningside and Watchung? It’s unbelievable that the town has not managed to come down our street even once since the storm started. I’d like someone from the town to answer, please

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