This past week will certainly be remembered by us all for a very, very long time. Thank you hardly seems sufficient, but it is the very least we can express in appreciation for all the incredible acts of kindness, generosity, selflessness, and volunteerism our community received this past week during and after the storm.
Thank you to all of our residents for their patience, understanding, and good will. Thank you for hanging in there. It was tough, and for many of us, our patience was taxed beyond capacity and our nerves frayed raw. Thank you for pulling together. This truly is an amazing community that we should all be proud of. Together we are truly at our best.
Our Emergency Management team was, as always, up to the task and performed brilliantly, especially under such incredible circumstances. Chief Buccelli led our team, and with his calm, but direct management style, guided everyone through so all were able to fulfill and perform their duties to the best of their abilities with care and compassion. Deputy Coordinator Susan DeLuise spent the entire six day ordeal at Borough Hall to ensure everything ran smoothly. We were able to provide a shelter and warming center for affected residents to warm up, charge phones and electronics, work, eat, or sleep. Jessica Short probably spent 90% of those six days managing the shelter which was not an easy task. In addition to New Providence residents, our shelter also helped take in residents from our neighboring communities including Chatham, Summit, and Berkeley Heights. Thank you to everyone who helped with the shelter and to everyone who opened their doors and businesses to help too. We would also like to thank and commend parents who came to the shelter with their children bringing fresh baked cookies, sandwiches, and snacks to share. What a generous, kind, and wonderful example to show our children about helping others in need. It was truly heartwarming and very much appreciated.
Jim Johnston and our DPW crews worked tirelessly throughout the storm and after, plowing, clearing roads, cutting trees, clearing debris, helping free vehicles stuck in the snow, and helping to fix broken equipment. While we are all happily recovering now from the storm, our DPW labors continue with storm clean up, and working to keep our roadside pedestrian walkways and storm sewers clear. It is not an easy job and we truly appreciate all their continuing efforts.
The Police Department received 311 calls which does not include the high volume of stops they made to assist residents while on patrol. Officers were constantly keeping up to the hour reports on downed wires, road obstructions, and neighborhood restoration timelines, while performing their regular duties.
The Fire Department received 78 calls during this time and spent countless hours assisting everywhere they could. They were truly our unsung heroes during the storm!
The Rescue Squad had 10 calls. Many calls were received where DPW plows had to plow, dig, and clear the way for a safe passage to the hospital. Incredibly, we are so pleased to report that we did not have any injuries as a direct result of this storm.
Many of our businesses really stepped up and helped out tremendously. Acme, Avenue Deli, Manhattan Bagel, Moes Bistro, and Prestige Diner donated food to our shelter, in some cases, multiple times. The Murray Hill Inn, as always, donated rooms for our police and DPW workers. Creative Comfort Pet Therapy brought in therapy dogs for our shelter residents. New Providence Presbyterian Church was very generous in providing it’s facilities for warmth, work, friendship, coffee, and food. Fitness Factory and Berkeley Aquatics opened their doors for warmth and showering, and Luminous MedSpa&Salon offered complimentary wash and blow out services, just to name a few. The generosity of our businesses and of our volunteers was incredible.
Thank you for all you do not only during a crisis but on a daily basis. Thank you for coming together as a community and for holding it together as best we could. Together we are at our strongest. Together we are at our best. Neighbors helping neighbors is truly what our community is all about. Thank you! God bless all of you and God bless New Providence.
With deep appreciation,
Mayor Al Morgan