Minor storm causes brief town power outages
Local residents escaped rather unscathed from a storm of heavy wind and rain after an unusually sunny day on Jan. 30. Unlike the Southern and Midwestern tornadoes that tossed cars and toppled buildings yesterday, the damage from the storm in Princeton was limited to temporary power outages.
More than 45,000 New Jersey residents were without power as of early this morning, according to a report by The Star-Ledger. Public Service Electric and Gas Company, one of several state utility providers, also tweeted early this morning that over 7,000 of its customers, mostly in the southern region of New Jersey, were without power.
Bob Gregory, director of emergency services at Princeton, said that estimates of the number of customers without power in Princeton were unavailable but that the outages were brief and not concentrated in any particular neighborhood.
The damage caused by the storm paled in comparison to that caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, when over one million New Jersey residents lost electricity.
“We hope to have most of the repairs finished by the end of the day,” Gregory said of local relief efforts. As of early this morning, few wires were down, and the state utility provider had already started fixing the lines, he said.
The University did not suffer major damages as a result of the storm. Several branches fell across campus, and some shingles blew off the roof of Scully Hall, but no student or staff injury was reported, University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua said.
In contrast, Hurricane Sandy uprooted about 110 trees on campus last fall. Gregory described last night’s storm as “miniscule” compared to Hurricane Sandy.
“Last night was not anything near what we had with the [Sandy] hurricane,” he said.
Even during the peak of the storm last night, the wind speed did not rise above 30 miles per hour, a rate less than half of the 68 mile-per-hour speed experienced during Hurricane Sandy.
All commuter trains in the Princeton area, including the Dinky, operated normally during the storm.
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