Over the last 24 hours, the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD) responded to over 125 storm-related emergencies including obstructed roadways, downed power lines, and homes & cars damaged by falling trees.
In one incident, a 52-year-old Roselle Park resident was travelling southbound on Galloping Hill Road when a tree fell on her car, a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The 60-foot oak tree crushed the car, trapping her inside. A large branch impaled the roof, narrowly missing the driver’s head. The Elizabeth Fire Department (EPD) responded to the entrapment along with Elizabeth EMS and Roselle Park EMS. The driver was freed after approximately 15 minutes and was later transported to Trinitas Hospital for treatment of pain and minor abrasions. The roadway remained closed for several hours as crews worked on clearing the tree.
Later in the afternoon as the storm’s intensity increased, so did the requests for emergency services. Roselle Park police, fire and EMS personnel responded to over 125 storm-related emergencies including over 40 damaged or downed utility poles.
More than half of the borough’s streets were obstructed or closed as of Tuesday afternoon.
Twelve local families have been temporarily displaced from their homes after they were severely damaged by falling trees. RPPD estimates the number of downed trees at more than 200.
During the storm – at approximately 9 p.m. – RPPD dispatchers received a call alerting them to an emergency at the home of one of their own officers. Patrolman Joshua Medrano was on duty at the time assisting another resident whose house was damaged by a falling tree. Medrano was notified that a large tree had fallen on top of his house, located a short distance away. Medrano along with other patrolmen responded to his home. Medrano’s family members had managed to flee the house and avoided serious injury. The officer and his family will not be able to return home for several weeks until the damage is assessed and repaired.
Several other homes were struck and damaged by falling trees including a ranch-style house on East Webster Avenue. A large oak tree crashed through the roof and onto the floor of the single-story home. The front corner of the home fell into the yard. The homeowner’s vehicle was also crushed by the same tree.
Meanwhile, two women on Seaton Avenue were having a dispute that resulted in both being arrested and charged with simple assault. Michelle Perez, 40, and Sarah Burke, 21, of Elizabeth, were processed at RPPD and later released.
At the direction of the Roselle Park Office of Emergency Management (OEM), all residents are directed to remain indoors as dangerous conditions continue to exist. As such, all Halloween activities in the Borough are postponed until further notice.