“I am even more disappointed” than before at PSE&G’s most recent estimates of when power will be restored to Maplewood Township, said Mayor Vic DeLuca.
DeLuca’s gloomy assessment came Wednesday afternoon, after a regional conference call with the power company.
“They have not yet released a timetable for residential restoration,” said DeLuca.
There are roughly 9,000 customers without power in Maplewood. PSE&G has been telling customers in Essex County to expect that it will take another seven to ten days to restore residential power.
“We are cautiously optimistic that it will be shorter than that,” said DeLuca. He said while he understands that the utility company has to restore electrical substations, and then transmission lines, before beginning to restore residences, “we just don’t think it’s happening fast enough.”
DeLuca also noted that while the Department of Public Works had cleared many main streets and intersections -- including Maplewood Avenue, and Prospect Street all the way to South Orange -- there were still streets blocked with trees involving downed power lines.
The township could not begin to clear those streets until they received authorization from PSE&G that it was safe to do so. (Streets still closed because of downed wires include the intersection of Parker and Valley, and Boyden Avenue.)
“We asked (PSE&G) for better coordination between us and them. We are stymied until then,” he said. PSE&G said they were hoping to send work crews to Maplewood, but it was unclear when that would happen. “We are keeping on them,” said DeLuca.
DeLuca also said he impressed upon PSE&G the need to prioritize restoring power to polling sites in time for next week’s election.
In other update news, DeLuca said Waste Management will pick up garbage on Thursday and Friday, and are asking customers to put garbage cans on the curb so sanitation workers do not need to go into backyards.
The shelter at DeHart Center continues to stay open and has heat. Roughly a dozen people displaced by the storm stayed there on Tuesday night.
Also, the Mayor and other township officials visited the residents at the Irvington Avenue Senior Building, which has no power, and will bring them food later today.