HELMETTA, NJ - Monday's strong storms plunged the borough into darkness with a power outage that stretched into Tuesday. With JCP&L telling Helmetta Mayor Chris Slavicek that the outage may go into Wednesday as crews assess and repair the damage, Slavicek threw residents a Power Pizza Party Tuesday evening at the Maple Street Pavilion. Many residents wondering how they were going to pull together dinner, came out to spend the warm evening with friends and neighbors.
"In trying times, I feel it's important for the community to rely on each other to keep it positive," Slavicek said. "It was heartwarming to welcome over 100 residents for pizza. The best part was when 10 electric company trucks pulled into town and drove past the Pavilion during the Power Pizza Party and all applauded and cheered."
Slavicek was one of the more than 800 residents dealing with life without power for the long stretch. The mayor had high words of praise for first responders as the community rose to the occasion to help one another cope.
"Blessed to be at the helm of our dedicated emergency and township personnel whom always sacrifice for our community," Slavicek added. "Your attention to the power outage and safety of all is greatly appreciated more than you know! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
All of Helmetta's power was restored by 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday according to Slavicek though more than 50,000 Garden State residents remain in the dark. Utility crews from the four major New Jersey Power Companies continue to address the outages with JCP&L saying some remaining customers may be out until Friday. More than 200,000 JCP&L residential and commercial customers were impacted by power outages in the wake of Monday's storms including Helmetta.