For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2012
Freehold power is restored; curfew lifted
Mayor urges visitors to return to restaurants, other businesses
FREEHOLD, NJ – With the announcement today by Jersey Central Power & Light Co. officials that electrical power has been restored to all of Freehold and Freehold Township, Freehold Mayor J. Nolan Higgins and the Borough Council rescinded the state of emergency and lifted the nighttime curfew.
“The main thoroughfares into town and most of the side streets have been cleaned of debris and power has been fully restored,” Higgins said. “I invite everyone to return to the borough to visit our excellent restaurants and shopping areas. We’re back in business.”
The mayor and council declared a state of emergency early Sunday morning after a violent thunderstorm came roaring through the borough, toppling hundreds of trees and bringing down utility lines in a defined area of Freehold and Freehold Township. The high winds also destroyed many of the tents at the Monmouth County Fair, bringing it to an abrupt close.
“The main thing is no one was injured, which is remarkable considering the scope of damage that occurred during this brief but ferocious storm,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “Freehold is the county seat, and we are happy to be assisting with the cleanup effort.”
Anyone experiencing power issues or knows someone without power is urged to call JCP&L’s toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877). Homeowners whose pole or meter has been pulled from the side of their house will need to hire an electrician to make repairs. If the service is less than 200 amps, homeowners can sign a waiver to have power restored immediately, but they must call the borough’s code enforcement office to have it inspected within 30 days.
Weather forecasters from the National Weather Service say Saturday night’s storm was a strong “downburst.” A downburst is created by a column of sinking, rain-cooled air that, after reaching ground level, spreads out in all directions and is capable of producing very damaging straight-line winds. The damage is similar to, but distinguishable from, damage caused by tornadoes. Aerial views reveal a defined swath where the trees have all been pushed over facing the same direction.
The storm could have been a supercell for part of its lifespan, forecasters said. A supercell is a thunderstorm that has a rotating, upward draft. The damage extends from the area near the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on Waterworks Road, Freehold Township, in a southeasterly direction toward East Freehold Showgrounds on Kozloski Road, where the County Fair was located.
“The response to this emergency was swift and extraordinary, and I want to commend everyone for a job well done,” Higgins said.
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