When a tree tipped over in the wee hours of the morning Monday on Park Avenue, it took out a utility pole, knocking out power in the immediate vicinity for a few hours. But it was also responsible for a small oil spill in Verona Lake.
According to an employee for Allstate Power Vac, the remediation company hired by PSE&G to clean up the oil, about 15 gallons of an oil similar to mineral oil ended up in Verona Lake after the tree knocked the pole over. The oil, which was used as a transformer to cool down the electrical wires in the pole, was washed into the street and then the sewer at the bottom of Hathaway Lane by the heavy rain. The sewer dumps into Verona Lake, just upstream of the small bridge on the westernmost edge of the lake.
By the afternoon, Allstate Power Vac employees had set up a dam of absorbent materials on the downstream side of the bridge, as well as in front of the sewer grate on Park. The Allstate employee said that the material would soak up 85 to 90 percent of the oil, and that the work would be done by the end of the day today.