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Mayor to Utilities: Follow Your Hurricane Priorities

Makes push that could help more residents get service restored quicker.

According to the procedures outlined by JCP&L and PSEG for restoring power after Hurricane Sandy, the highest priorities for service are police, hospitals and residential facilities for disabled residents and assisted care.

And Mayor Carolann Garafola is hoping to use that leverage to get more service restored in Warren.

"I've been reminding them that we have a number of such shelters in Warren," she said. Mayor Garafola and other area elected officials have been participating in 4 p.m. daily conference calls with the utility companies.

The residential facilities are spread throughout much of the township, with several clustered near the high school, as well as The Chelsea at Warren facility. The Brandywine Assisted Living center on Mountain Boulevard in Watchung could help residents in that area, as well.

Much still depends on the condition of power lines, transformers and power substations, which are being evaluated at this time. Mayor Garafola pointed out replacing transformers and repairing power lines must be done individually, which can take considerable time.

She said JCP&L reported having 4,000 people in New Jersey to do the work, in hopes of getting service back sooner than the seven days projected.

As of Wednesday afternoon, JCPL is reporting 5,243 in Warren without power, unchanged from earlier, while PSE&G is reporting between 1 and 500 without power. 

Other updates residents need to know:

  • The courthouse will be open as a warming and charging center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the outage. Township officials are present to answer questions.
  • Drinking water is available at the snack shop at the baseball fields behind the municipal complex on Bardy Road.
  • Mayor Garafola warns residents driving around police barricades will result in harsh penalties, if caught. The barricades are primarily around downed power lines and pose dangers.
  • DPW crews were able to clear debris from almost all roads. Roads closed remain closed because of downed power lines.
  • Emergency communication is "stretched," according to OEM Coordinator Jane Asch. Only life-threatening emergencies should be reported to the 9-1-1 system; minimize unnecessary calls to police.
  • Stonecrest Community Church is open as a warming center and possible overnight shelter, operated by Warren CERT members and the Red Cross. A limited number of cots are available; residents should bring pillows, toiletries, and blankets. The shelter has TV, games for kids, and food donated by local restaurants and grocery stores. 
  • .
  • Warren is requesting families cancel Halloween plans, due to safety concerns with downed wires.
  • SAT testing scheduled for Saturday at WHRHS has been rescheduled for Nov. 17.
Hema October 31, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I drove around warrenville rd, Washington rock rd, morning glory ln , everything is closed. The only way to get out of warren twp was Somerset st. I think now the power companies should open their eyes and cut the trees which are close to the power line. I have an year old baby and Cannot afford to have power outage in winter.
Susan M. October 31, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Deja vu all over again. Shades of last year but will probably worse this year. We had to drive around today and noticed 5-7 PSE&G trucks BUT NOT ONE JCP&L TRUCK!! JCP&L doesn't give a hoot about Warren - not last year and not this year. All the threats made by the township to the utility and the lawsuit filed has not seemed to motivate the utility to try to help Warren any sooner than they intended. My bet is that we're one of the last few towns in Central Jersey to return to power.
biswas November 01, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Couldn't agree more. Warren - the last town to be back up. Its time to show some action... JCPL. Last time it was 7 days, let's see what happens this time. It shouldn't take 2 days to assess Warren. Shall we see some crews tomorrow at least
greaylyconcerned November 01, 2012 at 10:21 AM
This article states that debris is cleared from roads. Lies. I have a huge tree down on my road and have not been able to get to my house by car.
John Patten (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Greaylyconcerned: Is there a power line in the tree down on your street? If not, let's let the DPW know so they can come remove it.
Dawn D'Angelo November 01, 2012 at 01:01 PM
My heart goes out to everyone suffering personal losses. Here are some "facts" about the 2 different company responses -- judge for yourselves: PSE&G -- I get a daily e-mail describing progress, as well as communicating future plans. JCP&L -- Nothing PSE&G -- Trucks working all over town -- really working!!! JCP&L -- Nothing PSE&G -- Outage numbers steadily decreasing JCP&L -- Not so much Same storm, same conditions, 2 different responses -- I think that JCP&L still has Leadership and Communication improvements to be made.
Carolann Catania November 01, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I say lets get organized and get jp&l to be accountable if we don't do anything they will just keep taking advantage of warren. They think this is a rich town and our politician are obviously not fighting hard enough. C Catania
John Patten (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I spotted crews working on Mt. Bethel Road and Mountain Avenue—the crews may not be JCP&L, but contractors.
Susan M. November 01, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Why does this state continue to allow an inept utility to control such a large swath of its electrical delivery? It doesn't make any sense, unless, of course JCP&L is greasing many palms. I have lived here 21 years and the outage problem has gotten worse every year. Their infrastructure is probably in shambles so they can make sure every dollar of profit goes to top management. Everyone in Warren should call their committee people and demand a public hearing immediately after power is restored - not next year when eveyone forgets.
Paul Rust November 02, 2012 at 03:41 AM
We should all deduct 25% from our payment to JCP&L if our power is out more than five days. Why do we have to pay for transmission of power if there isn't any at our homes. If the 5000 homes without owrt all do this we send the message!
Virginia Rea November 02, 2012 at 02:45 PM
So many trees down on streets like round top n skyline n mt horeb near casale and dock watch. Many people land locked. Still now power. Looks like a war zone around town. Pictures of warren should be put in the Newspapers and share that with the State utility commission and JCPL should be fined heavily and the money should come back to all residents. When can we get back to PSEG?

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