UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PIX11) -- A St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Union, New Jersey was almost spoiled by a manhole cover blowing right near the parade route this morning.
Firefighters say there were several explosions and an underground electrical fire on Stuyvesant Avenue near Morris Avenue. Marchers came down Morris Avenue but made a right onto Stuyvesant, on their left was the fire site.
"It delayed it probably about an hour,” said Patrick Riley, whose father co-founded the St. Patrick’s Day parade tradition in Union. "So it took a little bit later of a start, which was good because it brought the sun out and you know it stopped raining. So, due to that fact it worked out nice.”
Local boy scout troops, schools, bag pipe bands and floats were all apart of Saturday’s festivities. Meanwhile, PSE&G crews were hard at work underground trying to make repairs. All shops near the fire site had to be evacuated.
Those on the east side of Stuyvesant Avenue were without power for most of the day. Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe, Inspirations Clothing Outlet, Noodlefan and others were closed. Martha Rodriguez turned back after realizing Inspirations Clothing was locked. She was trying to get a festive outfit for her daughter to wear to school this week.
"Something green for her,” said Rodriguez, “So maybe I come tomorrow or Monday. Cause Patrick’s Day is Tuesday.”
Union Police say salt and water seeping into the system is probably what caused the manhole covers to blow. PSE&G says everyone in the area should have power back soon after 5 p.m.