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UPDATED: Maplewoodians Clamor for Information on Power, Gas

Updates on power restoration and elections; also, how to sign up for township emergency alerts.

 

Update, 11/2: To receive emergency notifications from Maplewood Township, including Mayor DeLuca's regular Hurricane Sandy updates, sign up for the Code Red Notification alerts here.

Mayor DeLuca said that the infusion of people and vital equipment that the federal government will be moving into New Jersey over the next couple of days will free up more work crews to move into our area. He is continuing to pressure PSE&G: "We are trying to get more of those people to Maplewood," he said.

Looking ahead to Election Day, which is only four days away, DeLuca said three out of Maplewood's six polling sites (Prospect Presbyterian Church, DeHart Center and Clinton), were out of power. He is working with the county and the state to ensure the township is provided with temporary polling places if power is not restored by Tuesday.

On day three of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, tempers are fraying as Maplewood residents realize that it might be a while before life returns to anything resembling normalcy.

At Maplewood Town Hall on Thursday midday, Mayor Vic DeLuca faced questions from frustrated residents who were there charging electronic devices and warming up. One, a disabled man from Brookwood Drive, asked why the police weren't doing more to provide updates.

"The police are very busy," said DeLuca. He said officers had been dispatched earlier today to guard local gas stations to keep order and prevent theft.

"We need a police presence," said one woman who said she and her son had asthma. "We have a police presence," DeLuca said.

The township has been making regular daily robocalls on the township's Code Red system to update residents throughout the crisis.

"We were hit very hard here," said DeLuca.

Some key points:

  • PSE&G has still not provided a timetable for the restoration of residential power, according to Mayor DeLuca at midday on Thursday. "They are still telling us Monday," he said. DeLuca said townhip officials had managed to get some PSE&G work crews to remove downed power lines on some streets, which will enable the DPW to clear those streets for travel.
  • Gas is still unavailable in Maplewood. There have been reports of gas stations open in some other nearby towns, but lines have been reported to be extremely long. 

DeLuca said the township purchased 1,750 gallons of diesel fuel from a local gas station in order to power the police station and fire department, and have access to gasoline as needed for police and emergency vehicles and DPW trucks.

  • Food is spoiling and should be disposed of, according to the head of the township's health committee, India Larrier. She said the health department is recommending that resident throw out all perishable foods they currently have, from refrigerators, freezers and coolers. 

In addition, the township will inform all food stores without power that they must dispose of any perishable food and stores are not to reopen until the health department has inspected them.

  • The township shelter at DeHart Community Center is open and has power and heat. People are asked to bring their own blankets, sleeping bags and essential medications.
  • The Maplewood Library might stay open for extended hours over the weekend. Morrow Memorial Church is still open.

One spot of good news: the water supply seems to be fine, at least for now. DeLuca said he had spoken to NJAWC who said there were no plans to turn off water supplies.

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS:

PSE&G: 1-800-436-7734 to report power outages

Police Non-emergency: 973-762-3400

Emergency situations and downed wires: 911

Diane Fish November 01, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Try to promote Springfield Ave for businesses now when you won't fight for power restoration for the business area
Sheila Baker Gujral November 01, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Water supply is brown on Kendal Avenue, unfortunately
kelly heinze November 01, 2012 at 11:48 PM
No garbage pick up for one week on Boyden parkway.its disgusting.everyone else had garbage pick up.animals getting in to garbage.
Camille Davies-Mandel November 02, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Thanks for this. My home phone is not working, so I'm not getting those daily Township calls. (Comcast says they have no reports of an outage in the area, but I lost phone, cable and Internet service Monday night.) Is there a way to add my cell number to the Code Red call list?
Robert Fay November 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM
This is an extraordinary situation and I think Vic, the TC, DPW, the police and fire departments are doing a fine job. I know it's frustrating but we have become a society dependent on electricity and gadgets. I have seen many signs that we are moving in the direction of normalcy.
P Gormn November 02, 2012 at 01:38 PM
If there's any way to provide info about power restoration eta that would be very helpful. Individual citizens are not getting answers and are being confronted by frightening info... Like calling PSEG to check status and hearing that PSEG had "closed their ticket" and thought that power had been restored. Many of us on the code red list are not receiving the messages, so reporting important updates to sites like patch or the maplewood township site would be appreciated!
Carolyn Maynard-Parisi (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 01:49 PM
P Gormn, Mayor DeLuca said last night that PSE&G will start to send more work crews into town over the next few days. The official restoration date from PSE&G is still Nov. 9, but the Mayor is continuing to press PSE&G to get more crews here to make it happen sooner.
Carolyn Maynard-Parisi (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Kelly, I just spoke to DPW and they said unless there is a tree blocking your street, your garbage should have been picked up. Have you called your garbage co? Waste Mgmt 1-800-371-7329, Waste Industries 973-761-0009
Carolyn Maynard-Parisi (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Sheila, as you might already have heard there was a water main break on Wyoming that might have turned water temporarily brown. It has been fixed and the water is safe to drink.
Carolyn Maynard-Parisi (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Diane, the Mayor is putting pressure on PSE&G every day to make restoration more of a priority throughout the township. It's unfortunate that Springfield Avenue lost its power; I was there yesterday visiting one of the few businesses that is still operating (Fringe Salon), and the Avenue feels like a ghost town. I'm sure Vic wants it to return to normal as much as everyone else does (plus he lives in the neighborhood).
Carter November 02, 2012 at 02:31 PM
If youre traveling up Parker Ave, the power is back from the high school up to union ave and in the Newstead area. Why aren't trucks from other cities who have power, coming over to Maplewood to assist in the recovery? There's a tree thats partially on my neighbors house and partially on power lines. This is a potential fire hazard. Where is the help?
Cynthia etienne November 02, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I am 9 months pregnant how am I suppose to survive like this. I can't stay in a shelter for long pse&g needs to move faster I haven't seen any pse&g trucks in Maplewood trying to fix anything there's still three power poles that are down in front of people's houses near quick check next to Abuja restaurant. I understand we were hit hard but the facts are there that pse&g is not working fast enough
Rbschwartz November 02, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Camille, yes, you can definitely add your cell phone to the code red distribution list, i did and have been getting updates. If you need help, i can figure it out for you.
Mike Stocker November 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM
We've not so much as seen a pse&g truck in our Jefferson Ave and Ridgewood neighborhood since storm. Ice and snow are predicted for Wednesday. We need some guidance about restoration timing. Two days? A week? Any info would be very appreciated. The gas rationing program is pointless without information about stations that have gas. Could you post? We don't have enough gas to drive around and find one on our day. Can we organize a carpool site to help us get into city? Morris Essex may be down for weeks according to NPR. Thanks for being a resource.

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