Hurricane Sandy Recovery Update from Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris

CHATHAM BOROUGH, NJ - Bruce Harris, the Mayor of Chatham Borough, released the following Hurricane Sandy recovery update at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6:

Today we had both JCP&L and out-of-state crews in the Borough, and I’m happy to report that the areas to which power was restored included the N. Passaic/Center/Weston area, portions of Coleman, Vincent and Dunbar, River Rd. and the adjacent streets, and portions of Inwood Circle and Broadview.  We have just posted updated outage and restoration maps on the web site that provide more details. 

The main issue in those areas that do not have power is that poles need to be replaced.  Utility crews have visited the areas and begun some repairs, and we are working with JCP&L to ensure that the crews return to finish up the job. 

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All of us understand that those without power would like to know when the power will be restored.  Although we at Borough Hall have learned more in the past few days about the electrical system than we thought we would ever know about that subject, we don’t know enough to be able to provide a definite timeframe for restoration.  We must obtain that from JCP&L, and JCP&L has not been able to provide those details yet.  As soon as we get the information, we will pass it on.  But the last thing we want to do is pass on our private estimates about when power will be restored.  Any dates that you’ve heard are not official JCP&L estimates.

As I mentioned before, the outage and restoration data posted on the JCP&L web site is not completely reliable.  Therefore, earlier today we posted maps we have put together based on field surveys conducted by our Borough engineer and the traffic safety officer, who are dedicated to working with the utility crews.  These maps provide general information on the power situation in the Borough.  We continue to make JCP&L aware of our needs and have had continuing success in getting resources each day.  If you are still without power, please make sure you have reported the outage to JCP&L at 1.888.544.4877.

On today’s conference call with the Governor and his cabinet, he stated that JCP&L is doing better than PSE&G and the Orange-Rockland utilities in restoring power.

In light of the suspension of NJ Transit rail service, the Borough has decided to temporarily enter into the transportation business and offer commuter buses to NYC starting tomorrow morning.  (Madison has implemented a similar program.)  We sent an update on this earlier today, and the details have been posted to the Borough web site.   Many thanks to Council President Lonergan for bringing this plan together on extremely short notice, and to Council Member Fife and administrative assistant Janice Piccolo, who developed the bus passes.

DPW is continuing with the brush clean-up.  We will post, from time to time, a map showing their progress so that you will know when brush clean-up has been completed on your street.

We are following the forecasts of the northeaster very closely and gearing up to be prepared.  We will provide more information as this situation develops.  We encourage you to make your own preparations, including preparing for possible power outages.

In addition to forwarding this to your friends, please let those of your friends and neighbors who don’t have computers or smart phones or other access to the web that there is a lot of information available on what’s going on.  If they can’t get access to a computer, they can come to Borough Hall and get the information. 

The entire emergency management team is continuing to meet twice daily to make sure that available resources are being applied in the most effective way to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Together we will make it through this.

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