CHATHAM BOROUGH, NJ - Bruce Harris, the Mayor of Chatham Borough, released the following statement on Monday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m.:

We have made further progress.  Both our Borough engineer and a police officer have been dedicated to working with the utility crews, and, thanks to their efforts power has now been restored to Red Rd., Fuller Avenue, Dempster, Pihlman and the adjacent streets, Garden Avenue, Ellers, Weston and the adjacent streets (except for Bartow and Meadow), and Milton Avenue School and much of the immediately surrounding area. 

However, significant areas remain without power, and we are continuing to work closely with JCP&L to get the resources needed to restore power to those areas.       

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The main issue in those areas is that new poles need to be placed before the lines can be repaired and power restored.  In addition, there are isolated pockets and individual homes that remain without power for a range of reasons.  We continue to make JCP&L aware of our needs and we participate in daily calls with JCP&L.   In addition, the Governor meets twice daily with JCP&L’s executives to review their progress.  He and his cabinet have been reporting back to the mayors in daily conference calls that I participate in.  Many residents remain without power, and there is tremendous focus on making sure that resources are being deployed in the Borough and throughout the State to restore power.

We know there are lots of rumors:

- The rumor that areas will not be restored until 12/1 is just that - a rumor.  JCP&L continues to expect to have power to the vast majority of its customers restored by this Wednesday, and the president indicated the remaining areas might take additional time, but not that long – there’s been no mention of 12/1.

- JCP&L’s president has assured the elected official of the State that it has plenty of equipment to do the job – there’s no pole shortage, and they are now up to 4000 linemen available to work on restoration.

- JCP&L’s president also stated that no out-of-state crew has been rejected because it was non-union.

This situation is difficult enough as it is, and is made even more so when we spread rumors.

Some of you have asked about the data in JCP&L’s restoration projections posted on its web site.  JCP&L has acknowledged that, although the projections are valid on a state-wide basis, they have significant problems on a local basis.  They are working on street by street restoration plans, but have not indicated when those will be available.  (The information we have provided on outages and restoration by street or neighborhood is based on our own surveys, which is why it’s not 100% precise as to listing all streets.)  Similarly, JCP&L’s outage information on its web site it not completely reliable, in part because JCP&L’s grid is not based on municipal boundaries.

As you are aware, a northeaster is forecast to arrive on Wednesday.  The Governor stated that his cabinet is also working on preparations for that storm, and let me assure you that the Borough’s emergency management team, which continues to meet twice daily, is getting ready for this storm as well as managing the recovery from Sandy.  The entire Council, along with other volunteers, are active participants.  In fact, much of the information you are receiving via Twitter or seeing on the web site is there only because we have volunteers who are taking the time to disseminate the information.  Their efforts are another example of the community spirit that makes the Borough the special place that it is.

A couple of final comments. 

-We have just posted a reminder on the web site regarding the need to replace smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.  Making sure these devices are functioning is critical on these days when many are using their fireplaces or generators.

- The mulch area remains open daily if you want to drop of brush or leaves.  See the web site for more information.

And, most importantly, don’t forget that Tuesday is Election Day.  The polling places are all up an running (barring some unforeseen event), so please take the time to exercise your precious right as an American and vote.

We continue to get comments from residents that they are not getting any information.  When you hear that, please suggest that they look at the web site and follow the Borough on Twitter so that they get updated.  We are trying very hard to keep the web site up to date with the most current information.

Please forward this to your friends and neighbors.