A year has passed since Super Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on our community, and while most have recovered from its devastating destruction, it is important that we not forget those families throughout our State who have not been as fortunate and continue to struggle to return to a normal life.
While I write this, I look out my window at a beautiful blue sky. It is still hard to believe what we experienced during that storm and its aftermath – homes in the dark for weeks, cold from a lack of heat, impassable streets due to downed trees, and unprecedented property damage throughout our Township – devastation on a scale we could not have imagined, which spared no one.
It is with this vivid recollection that I want to share my thoughts with you and once again recognize those who worked tirelessly and with great compassion throughout the storm and its aftermath, specifically, our Department of Public Works, our Police and Fire Departments and our Rescue Squad. On behalf of a community that will not forget, thank you all. Thank you as well to our Office of Emergency Management team that, in addition to its other responsibilities, arranged to bring warm meals to many of our seniors. And I would like to add a special thank you to the Scotch Plains Fanwood Ministerium for providing shelter, meals, and the emotional support we so critically needed at that time.
A few days after the storm, my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary at the South Side Firehouse. Our home, along with most others, was cold and dark, and we were graciously invited by Mayor Malool and her husband Paul to join them and several of our volunteer recovery teams to a warm meal that she had prepared. Paul along with Mike Weber, and other volunteers had earlier in the day delivered hearty meals to our senior citizen complex on Lake Avenue. As I sat with many of our valued volunteers in the Firehouse, tired and exhausted from the day’s activities, I could not help to think how proud I felt to live in Scotch Plains. While we were knocked down by Sandy, we never quit. We got up; we comforted our family and neighbors and went to work on re-building our community.
To all, “23,500 Scotch Plains Jersey Strong”, I hope you are well and want to extend to you my heartfelt gratitude, your efforts during that storm, from looking out for your neighbors to opening your homes and hearts to others in need did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Our community’s response to those trying times once again demonstrates that we are better when we work together. It is why Scotch Plains is a great place to call home.
Best wishes always,
Mayor, The Township of Scotch Plains