Neighbors - just finished a conference call with PSEG. Here are some details.

What: South Orange has roughly 1200 households without power and it is likely power WILL NOT be restored until Saturday, March 10th. I want to make sure to manage expectations. If power gets restored sooner, that would be great but plan accordingly for the 10th.

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Why: Right now, PSE&G (along with ALL emergency management offices) are focusing on roadways and downed wires (many are still live/high voltage). South Orange submitted a list with roughly 25 areas that are considered "critical", the entire list PSE&G is addressing has over 350 items submitted by emergency management personnel. Fortunately, PSE&G was able to assist us this morning in getting our Public Works facility back online. I know I'm repeating myself here because I think it's important for us, as a community, to understand that we're a part of a much larger region with over 1 Million Households that were impacted with the loss of power, so priorities: Road Clearance/Live Wires (especially important for emergency vehicles/access), special facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, first responders, residents with special needs, etc.), critical areas submitted by municipalities and counties, circuits that maximize the greatest number of people coming online in the shortest amount of time (1,000+), general power restoration/small circuits.

More details will be posted at at 6pm for an update/report regarding power, transit, general municipal operations, etc.


Safety Precaution: With the snow day, I realize people want to get out of the house and walk around. I can't stop you but I URGE you to use good judgement for your safety and that of your family. Trees and branches are still coming down. Here's what occurred in South Orange as of noon today as per our police department:

- 98 trees down
- 26 power lines down in both the front and rear of properties
- 7 trees down striking and damaging dwellings
- 2 trees down striking two moving vehicles (minor injuries)
- 5 parked motor vehicles damaged by fallen trees/branches

It may be hard to believe but our Public Works Director has indicated that the damage caused by this winter storm is more extensive than Superstorm Sandy but everyone is doing their part.

I want to again send my thanks to our Department of Public Works, South Orange Police Department, South Orange Fire Department, South Orange Rescue Squad, our Office of Emergency Management and even our librarians and rec staff who came in to open buildings for warming stations/power. We have a great team - some have been working for 40 hours straight. Whatever opportunity you have to contribute - whether helping someone shovel or inviting neighbors over for dinner or hosting some house guests - it's greatly appreciated. It always takes a Village...