Four Orange & Rockland Utility crews were in Franklin Lakes on Thursday helping the borough remove downed trees and clear roads, according to Mayor Frank Bivona.
"The Borough was able to hold high level conversations with Orange and Rockland Electric last night and this morning," Bivona wrote in a borough wide email Thursday.
Officials were seeing significant activity Thursday morning throughout the borough, with Orange & Rockland working on transmission lines and sub-stations that feed Franklin Lakes and surrounding areas.
Bivona said that many residents have no power by virtue of downed transmission or sub-station infrastructure, and once those are repaired some power will come back.
"Others have lost power due to the tremendous amount of trees and wires down." according to Bivona. "In those cases, power is more difficult to restore."
He added that the borough had to have O&R crew on site "de-energizing wires and clearing large trees off of wires" before restoration could begin.
"We have four O&R crews here now," Bivona wrote just before noon on Thursday. "They are focused on clearing trapped households and blocked county roads. Our DPW crews are assisting them only after the wires are de-energized and it is safe to do so. After roads are cleared and trees are out of the wires, then they will work on power restoration."
Other sites will follow in the priority listing, he said.
Franklin Lakes Office of Emergency Management reported that as of 3 p.m. O&R restored power to more than 500 borough homes "in the last 24 hours."
That still leaves 85 percent of Franklin Lakes without power, according to the borough OEM.
"Most residents that were unable to leave their homes because of trees or wires blocking them in, are now able to get out, and most roads that had been blocked are now clear," the OEM wrote in an email to residents on Thursday afternoon.
"I know how difficult this is for everyone and after two days of little activity we are now seeing some progress," Bivona wrote. "Once again, thank you for your patience."
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.