Lights have gone back on for nearly 90 percent of Wyckoff, but an approaching stormfront could spell trouble for township residents just reacclimatizing to life in the 21st century.
As of Monday morning, approximately 85 to 90 percent of residents have power again after Hurricane Sandy, Wyckoff Mayor Chris DePhillips said in a message to residents Wednesday.
"I continue to press PSE&G and Orange & Rockland, and the presidents of those companies, to get the job done and get power restored to all 17,000 of our residents," DePhillips said. "I have urged the utilities in the strongest possible terms to keep crews coming into Wyckoff to move us from 85 percent to 90 percent restoration to 100 percent restoration."
But a winter weather advisory has been issued for much of North Jersey, with the National Weather Service forecasting snow, sleet and rain for Wednesday and a snowy mix for Thursday. Temperatures are expected to be at or just below freezing Wednesday and in the low 40s on Thursday.
Winter Storm Athena, which could impact our area until 6 a.m. Thursday, is expected to bring gusts up to 60 mph over much of the area.
The Town Hall Storm Information Center has been open for the last nine days and remains available to any resident who needs assistance, DePhillips said; and shelters at Powerhouse Christian Church and Christian Health Care Center remain open.
Residents should stay inside their homes and avoid driving if at all possible, OEM Chief Lt. David Murphy said Wednesday.
"Safety has to be in the forefront of [residents'] minds at all times," Murphy said. "If wind gusts become severe, stay in lower level of your home."
He advised anyone who loses power to report power outages directly to utility companies and "only emergencies to the police."
Adding to Wyckoff residents' grief, many experienced a brief, but widely felt, power outage Wednesday afternoon, when the lights went out for a portion of the township.
Outages were reported in a large section of Wyckoff, including Boulder Run, the Wyckoff Public Library, Martom Avenue, Wyckoff Avenue, Everett Avenue, Waverly Road, and Oakwood Drive.
The outage was reportedly caused by a transformer fire near Wyckoff Avenue, according to multiple sources. Officials have not confirmed that the fire near Highland and Wyckoff avenues was the source of the 20 minute loss of power.
Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.