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Ridge Road Power Restoration Begins, Schools' Fate Unknown

Damage to Ridge Road was from a burning wire above ground, not below, as originally thought

Orange & Rockland crews from outside Columbus, Ohio were on Ridge Rd. in Mahwah Friday afternoon repairing downed wires that restored power to about 3,000 condo residents on the south side of Macarthur Blvd. According to Underground Line Chief Al Lowther, the power outage in the area was due to downed power lines, not a burning .

“In my estimation, though there are underground lines that run along this road, it looks like a wire fell and danced around on the road, and that’s what burned it up, not an underground line,” the chief said.

Lowther and a crew of 30 contracted utility workers were fixing the downed lines near the burned road Friday afternoon. Lowther said the process is still labor-intensive, but more common than the underground issue O&R originally thought existed at the site. Lowther said the circuits that control the north side of Macarthur Blvd, which include condo units, four township schools, and the are likely separate from those that control power on this side of the road. 

However, Mayor Bill Laforet, who said he was in touch with O&R throughout the day Friday and was on Ridge Road with crews, said the utility is now moving on to other parts of the township. The crew who was working on Ridge Road moved to Darlington Ave. Friday night. And, “O&R is currently calculating whether or not they can get power to the schools and the other side of Ridge Road using the circuits worked on today," he said.

“We are starting to see progress,” Laforet said. “And, we know it's frustrating. These are unprecedented conditions in Mahwah. And, we need to keep pushing [the utility] until every home is back online.”

For residents this weekend, one of the most pressing power restoration questions in the area is whether or not kids will be in school on Monday.

“We are hoping to open all schools on Monday,” Board of Education President Tricia Shada said Friday evening. “If the schools cannot be opened, a decision will be made by 3 p.m. on Sunday and parents will be contacted by the one call now system.”

Once schools reopen, the district announced all schools will operate on a full-day schedule for the entire week.

While Lowther said he wasn’t sure when power would be restored to the schools, he did say O&R crews are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be working this weekend.

As of 9:30 p.m. Friday, O&R was reporting 5,162 customers in Mahwah still without power.


Text news tips to 201-706-1984, or email jessica.mazzola@patch.com. Get updates on the Mahwah Patch Facebook and Mahwah Patch Twitter.

Karen November 03, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I live in Cragmere and O&R's site says that my power will be restored by 11:30 PM on 11/11. We've seen O&R supervisor vehicles in our area but that's it. When my husband asked the man about the status of the restoration he told him he wasn't allowed to give us any information. Great way to run a business O&R!
bet November 03, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I live in Ramapo Ridge and we are going on day 6 without power. We have not seen 1 O&R truck in the area. My husband saw only 2 non-O&R trucks on Ridge Road on Friday from South Carolina. They were assessing, had no direction or plan from O&R. The line is still down by the high school. It has not been repaired and they had no idea when it would be repaired. We have been checking daily. I don't know which part of Ridge Road this picture is or where this information for the story came from, but O&R is MIA
bet November 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM
So my sister had power restored in Hoboken, which was under water. Substations under water. They have PSE&G - that's the reason !!!!!!! Not Orange and Rockland!!!!!
Karen J November 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Is there anywhere in Mahwah that needs volunteers? I am new to the area but would like to be of help to my neighbors.
Concerned Parent/Taxpayer November 03, 2012 at 01:49 PM
So this sounds like there is one crew working in Mahwah. This is ridiculous. If they are working 24 hours a day, where are they in town right now. I would love to know because I haven't seen anyone.
hsr November 03, 2012 at 02:00 PM
bet did you get power now? I didn't see an update. The problem is many do have power back but don't up date their complaints. At least we are not flooded like some places. Well I hope things get better for all.
LKR November 03, 2012 at 02:16 PM
That's our current Mayor. Self promoting but not out there, not in the "trenches" pushing for the answers and being responsive with the community. When the announcement of open gas stations went out he listed his Sunoco and his largest campaign contributor Valero. He left out the Gulf across the street from him and Pilot. He should be on top of the OR situation. Time for a change in government .
Katy November 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Does anyone know if service is restored at Ridge Gardens?
Ananda November 03, 2012 at 02:30 PM
The worst part is their sending estimated bills which is way higher than expected. I have to 300 dollar bill which is very very unusual
Cragmere Mom November 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Living in Cragmere where the Mayor lives, we are probably screwed in getting power back sooner. He needs to look like a martyr for his self serving political needs to show he too doesn't have power. I guess if he's re-elected on Tuesday, maybe then we'll get our power back! It's pretty sad.
Concerned Parent/Taxpayer November 03, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Ridge gardens is back up
Joe L. November 03, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Thanks for this site. The only place I can find updates on Mahwah. Wish the town's website could provide info. I had to leave my powerless home so the robocalls are of no help to me.
hsr November 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Joe L the same info is on the Township of Mahwah site if thats helps any. Hang in. Good luck hope your back soon.
wendy November 03, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Does this mean the school's power is on?
Patricia Longo November 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Thanks for all the updates ...they really help....question... .there is utility pole on Seminary and Campgaw hanging with wires...has anyone looked at it? any comments?
Patricia Longo November 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Thanks for all updates.....
JJJ November 03, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Its time that the Mayor gets some results. We too are w/o power and havent seen a truck from OR or any other state. He emails us everyday to tell us "Mahwah still struggles with power and gas lines." Well DUH! and "I continue to have my daily conference call with O&R" Baloney. He's actually DONE nothing! The sad reality is that come election day, one of the candidates will be our mayor. Neither has the ability to get things accomplished. We don't need daily emails telling us what we all already know. We need action that produces results. Its almost a week now, things have NOT gotten better.
Jennifer Cummings November 03, 2012 at 04:51 PM
WE HAVE POWER! !! I AM A CURRENT RESIDENT OF RIDGE GARDENS...BY THE FIRE....WHILE MY HEART GOES OUT TO U ALL STILL W/O POWER...MAY IT BE SOME FAR REACHING HOPE....THAT YOU TOO WILL HAVE WARMTH AND ELECTRIC SOON!!! For those without power...PLEASE HANG IN THERE...and for those who have power...or NEVER LOST IT...please..STEP UP AND HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS! !! I am APPALLED AT HOW PEOPLE CAN LET OTHERS SUFFER!!!! I am a handicapped woman..who would have given the sweatshirt off my back to those in need....and when generators were acquired...NOT EVEN AN OFFER.TO SEE UPDATES ON TV!? its TRULY TIME FOR PATIENCE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY COMPASSION!!! the saying goes...treat other how you would like to be treated yourself!! MANY HOPES AND PRAYERS FOR THOSE OF YOU WITHOUT POWER....U ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS!!! BE SAFE!!!
Bob Rama November 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Can we get an update on whether they got power to the schools?
wendy November 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Jennifer Cummings November 03, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I herd the Schools were on a different circuit....last herd that if power not restored by Sunday they are having a meeting at 530 p.m. and then using the 1 call phone system to notify parents... I hope thats helpful.... if I hear anything else I will post it.... GOOD LUCK!!
hsr November 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM
We live in Fardale off Deerfield and had power 2 days now but lost it again now for an hour now back again so it shows they are working in this area too. Granted it not a big area I'm not sure but it is better than it was last year for us. Well good luck all and hopefully soon all will be back. I believe our main wires come from Oakland area.
bet November 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Hsr - no power yet but thankfully my mother got power today on hilltop road the other side of town. So we have a warm home to stay at. Thank god.
hsr November 03, 2012 at 08:52 PM
bet I am happy to hear that you have a place to go. Hopefully you'll be back home soon. I know it's uncomfortable to be out. Went that route last year. Good luck . Stay warm.
fastharry November 03, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Interesting..just drove all around fardale...Wires still hanging on youngs road....saw only one crew...and apparently, people are being told that it is all due to the burning wire on ridge road..which we all know by now is a bunch of BS as they have already stated there is no underground burning wire... Doesn't seem the Mayor is onto to anything...except raking in more profit at his gas station...where he is over 10 cents more a gallon than the Gulf station across the street...and more than 20 cents more than the highway stations...
hsr November 03, 2012 at 11:05 PM
we're off deerfield not connected to Youngs road cables.
BC Lib November 04, 2012 at 03:48 AM
No power @ the schools. Some of Ramapo Ridge was restored today, but not all.
Chris November 04, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Mayor if you read this please share with your town the results of your daily 3 PM conference calls with R&O. Those of us without power are being VERY patient with you and want to know what they are telling you everyday. And Cregmere realizes that we will be last due to you living over here. Tues can't get here soon enough
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