The entire town of Morristown has been without power since around 6 a.m. today, Aug. 28, and probably will be out for at least the rest of the day, said Mayor Tim Dougherty.
A Jersey Central Power & Light substation on Ridgedale Avenue has been flooded by Tropical Storm Irene, which so far has dumped more than 10 inches of rain on Morristown, the Mayor said.
Neighboring towns, including Morris Township, also are without electricity, he said.
“Stay indoors and wait it out,” he advised, adding that he hoped people heeded experts’ advice by preparing for a three-day power outage.
The Morristown Medical Center is operating on generator power, he said. Earlier this morning, 27 people were staying in a Red Cross shelter in the auxiliary gym at Morristown High School; the Mayor said he expects that number to approach 50.
The Whippany River is now four- to five feet above its usual level of six-and-a-half feet, the Mayor said.
Several homes have been struck by falling trees, he said, but no injuries have been reported.
“We’ve been very fortunate so far,” he said. “This is a very dangerous situation.”
He emphasized that the saturated soil may cause more trees to topple.
“Stay indoors. If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1. Be careful if you are venturing out. With weak roots, it won’t take much for trees to fall over.
The Mayor said strong winds still may be coming; he is hoping the rain lets up this morning.
We will provide more updates as we get them.