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Cumberland County: No injuries or serious problems following storm

Cumberland County officials are reporting no injuries or serious problems after a night when Hurricane Sandy blew through the area.

Vineland has lifted its travel restrictions as of 7:30 a.m.

County spokesman Troy Ferus said emergency staff used a boat to rescue a few people from their water-surrounded homes in the Delaware Bay community of Fortescue in Commercial Township.

“They stayed, and shouldn’t have,” Ferus said.

County officials said Monday they were pleased that the majority of the few year-round residents who live in Fortescue and other low-lying Delaware Bay communities such as Gandy’s Beach and Money Island in Commercial Township had evacuated voluntarily. The county issued no mandatory evacuation orders.

Otherwise, county officials reported a relatively quiet night.

About 200 people spent the night in county shelters at Cumberland County College in Vineland, the Buckshutem Road School in Bridgeton and the Cumberland County Technical Education Center in Deerfield Township.

The number of people who stayed at the shelters was far less than the 650 evacuees they could accommodate. Original concerns about widespread power loss, flooding and property damage had county officials ready to add another 200 beds for evacuating residents if necessary.

Two roads – Glade Road in Maurice River Township and Newport Neck Road in Downe Township – were the first roads to be closed on Monday because of the storm. Newport Neck Road was later reported as passable, with county officials urging motorist to proceed with caution.

County officials said other roads that were close last night include:

- River, Alexander, East Point, Matt’s Landing and Carlisle roads, Main Street, the Mauricetown causeway and the Route 670 approach to the Maurice River Bridge in Maurice River Township.

- Ware Avenue, Silver Run Road at the Silver Run School and Route 47 at Espoma in Millville.

- Market Street and Hancock Harbor Road in Greenwich Township.

County officials continue to “strongly recommend” that residents stay off the roads.

Travel restrictions remain in effect in Bridgeton, Millville, Vineland and Commercial, Deerfield and Maurice River townships. Travel is restricted to essential personnel, which includes police, fire, emergency medical service and emergency management staff.

While the storm may be dissipating, county officials are asking local businesses to consider weather conditions in their plans to reopen today. County officials said in a statement that they want businesses to make decisions “with the safety of their employees and customers in mind.”

County offices and Cumberland County College remain closed.

 

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