FANWOOD, NJ – It is the difficult times that seem to really bring a community together, and Fanwood is no exception. Since the beginning of Hurricane Sandy, everyone in Fanwood from the Mayor, to business owners to residents, have all been working together to get us through this natural disaster.
At 5:30 Friday morning, 10% of Fanwood came back online with power, as the main substation was finally energized and brought back online, although it still needs extensive repairs to bring it to full capacity.
“The good news is that the sub stations has been energized, and power, however small, has been restored, and Public Service has now arrived in town,” said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr. “They are out in their vehicles to assess the damage and they have arrived in their trucks to begin the ‘cut and clear’. This time yesterday there was nothing, no trucks and no sub station. A small amount of restoration is hopeful, and we should continue to gain ground over the weekend.”
Mayor Mahr participates in a daily conference call with the Governor and PSE&G where the latest assessment for each town is given and questions can be asked. “There was a massive amount of damage in the Borough and there is a lot to do and it will need to be repaired pole by pole and street by street. I’m thankful that we have seen a little progress, I’m hoping tomorrow will show more improvement. My job is to push for as many boots on the ground to get us up and running as soon as possible,” said Mayor Mahr.
The Mayor, the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, the Rescue Squad and the rest of the team in Fanwood have been working tirelessly to ensure that communication within the Borough has been as good as it could be given the circumstances. Daily updates, press releases, voicemails and even hand delivered notices have all been part of the communication strategy.
“We learned a few things from Hurricane Irene that have helped us in the current crises,” said Mayor Mahr. “ Now, when we declare a Borough wide emergency we have a team of people who spring into action. Residents have been able to get information so they understood what was happening and where to go for necessary services. “
Fanwood Police Station has had an open door policy 24 hours a day, the Fanwood Library and the Fanwood Rescue Squad have been operating warming and charging stations since Tuesday afternoon and over 2,000 residents have been able to use these services.
“We are still struggling to get through this, gas is running low, there is no ice, but we are really pulling together and for the most part, people’s attitudes and spirits have been good. We have had no loss of life like down the shore,” concluded Mayor Mahr.
Residents should note that the Chelsea Assisted Living Center on South Avenue will be available as a warming station from 9 am to 5 pm all weekend, in addition to the Library and the Rescue Squad.