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Calamity in Wyckoff: Near-total Power Outage, Blocked Streets, Biz Break-In

The township is cleaning up after being hard hit by Hurricane Sandy Monday night

Hurricane Sandy slashed through Wyckoff Monday night, cutting power to 98 percent of the township, destroying more than a half dozen homes, and forcing school to be cancelled for a third day, according to officials.

"The road department is out there trying to clear streets, utilities are trying to make their way," said Wyckoff Mayor Chris DePhillips. "But we have no estimates as to when they're going to get to us."

Township officials have not received an estimate as to when PSEG and Rockland & Orange would address the outages.

According to Committeeman Kevin Rooney, a portion of West Main Street and a small area near Franklin Avenue by Quackenbush Ave and Lawlins Road still has power.

Driving through the township streets was like navigating a dangerous maze Tuesday morning and many streets were impassable because of downed trees and power lines. Falling trees slammed homes across Wyckoff, in some cases rendering them uninhabitable.

"There are some homes that are completely destroyed," said Rooney. "Five cars were destroyed completely on Monroe Avenue alone."

Township crews were on the roads clearing whatever trees they could Tuesday morning, he said. 

Burglars even took advantage of Wyckoff's hardships.

"There was a break-in at Wyckoff Pizza, someone kicked in the front door and stole whatever cash they had in the register," Rooney said. "It's an absolute horror to take advantage of people like that."

Township officials also announced Tuesday that school Wednesday was cancelled, including classes at Ramapo and Indian Hills High School.

Washington School was particularly hard hit, according to DePhillips, who had just spoken to Superintendent Rich Kuder. 

"There's a pole down [on Washington School property] that feeds power to the school," DePhillips said. "They likely won't be ready for this week." 

With power out to nearly every block in Wyckoff, township officials offered up town hall — which was on backup generators — for residents looking to charge electronic devices or stay warm.

"All the daytime sheltering is a problem," DePhillips said. "None of them have generators. The only place to go is town hall." 

Overnight sheltering is available at Bergen County Community College through the county and Christian Health Care Center has also offered to help and have 20 beds available, DePhillips said.

"If residents have a particular health emergency, we would direct them there," the mayor added.

As of 11 a.m., township officials plan to keep town hall open until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Telephone and email communications were spotty, if not completely down Tuesday morning, so anyone looking to get in touch with officials should stop by Wyckoff Town Hall.

For more local Hurricane Sandy news click here:

  • Sandy Central On Patch
  • Gallery: Hurricane Sandy Knocking on Your Door
  • Preparing for Hurricane Sandy in Wyckoff: What You Need to Know
  • DePhillips on Hurricane Sandy's Impact: Strong Winds Likely to KO Electricity
  • Mayor Bivona: 'Massive' Hurricane Sandy Could Cut Power for Days

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.

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