Warren OEM Coordinator Jane Asch is urging residents to heed Gov. Chris Christie's recommendation to stay off roads during Hurricane Sandy.
Unfortunately, that may not be easy.
"The Police Department is recommending people stay off the roads until Wednesday," Asch said, noting the forecast is calling for Sandy to continue through most of Tuesday.
Being on the roads during the storm is a double threat, too: Asch says the danger from falling trees, branches and power lines not only endangers drivers, but also endangers police or rescue squad members who might have to respond if problems develop.
As of Monday, Asch said townships are being advised utility companies will not be making repairs to downed lines and power outages before Thursday—the storm bards work Tuesday, and Wednesday will be spent assessing the damage and outages.
"I know they are concerned about the attitude of our community, after what happened last year," Township Committeeman Gary DiNardo said, noting Warren joined a complaint against JCP&L after the slow response after the October snowstorm.
Residents are reminded to contact the utility companies as soon as power goes out, and not to call police. To report a power outage to JCP&L, call 1-888-544-4877; For PSE&G customers, call 1-800-436-PSEG.
"This is going to be a 'several-day event'—sorry, but that's the way it is," Asch said.
Currently, the township is planning to open a warming center by Wednesday, where residents without power can charge up devices. Asch said there are no plans to open a shelter at this point.
"As soon as the wind dies down, we will make that assessment," Asch said.