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Hurricane Sandy Recovery Update from Westfield's Mayor

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The biggest damage from Hurricane Sandy came from the gale force winds that toppled many trees, sometimes directly onto houses. Credits: Sara Carpien
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WESTFIELD, NJ--Mayor Andy Skibitsky gave the following Hurricane Sandy update via the town's website, www.westfieldnj.gov, today:

Dear Neighbor:

I along with Assemblyman Bramnick and the Council representatives from the affected wards visited the neighborhoods this past weekend that had yet to have their power restored to let them know that they were not forgotten.  PSE&G and the utility companies they partnered with made a huge push over the weekend to restore individual circuits and house connections to finally get the remaining outages in Town resolved.  To make sure that they have addressed all the outages, PSE&G “robocalled” all of their customers with instructions on what to do if anyone was still without power.  If anyone reading this message knows of anyone still without power, please pass along the following message from PSE&G to them: “While restoration from the storms is substantially complete, we know there are some customers who may still be out of service as a result of the two storms or localized problems with their electric service. Repairs will continue on a 24/7 basis to address all customer issues. Individual customers without service in a neighborhood with power should call 1-800-436-7734 and a crew will be assigned to complete the work.”

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Also, PSE&G has advised that, “To restore customers after a storm of this magnitude, [PSE&G] needed to make a significant number of temporary repairs to [their] electric delivery system. Crews will now begin to make those repairs permanent and return the system to its normal design. Many of the out-of-state crews are still here and will help [PSE&G] complete some of this work during the next few days. To do so safely, [PSE&G] may need to take a circuit out of service for a period of time interrupting power to those customers. Service will be restored as soon as possible.”

The Town is in the process conducting a one-time town wide curbside cleanup of storm related branches and twigs. It is following the same pattern as leaf collection.  Zones 1 and 7 have been completed and crews are currently working in zones 2 and 8.  Please remember that this clean up is for organic debris such as branches and twigs. Due to the limitations of the town’s equipment and means of disposal, it does not include entire trees or tree trunks from private property. It remains the responsibility of private property owners to arrange for the disposal of trees from their own properties.  Further, some tree removal contractors have approached residents and indicated that they would cut up trees on their private property, but would not remove them. Tree contractors must dispose of the tree remnants as they normally do and should not place the remnants at the curb.   

Halloween, Saturday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

As you know, Halloween trick or treating was postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy due to safety concerns.  Many parents have expressed their (and their children’s) desire to reschedule Halloween.  Others have reported that they have already conducted a “mini” trick or treat event on their own block.  Still, others have reported that they have already consumed their supply of candy during the very trying days after the hurricane!

In order to give those who have not “trick or treated” an opportunity to do so, I am recommending that the adult residents of each neighborhood block decide amongst themselves whether to conduct Halloween trick or treat activities on Saturday, November 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  I understand that some residents may no longer have a supply of candy on hand and may not wish to participate.  However, neighbors can address this on a block by block basis.  I also recommend that children be supervised if your block chooses to participate and that all activities happen during daylight hours.

Thank you for your patience and I hope the children have an opportunity to participate and enjoy trick or treating!

Please take note of the following:

  • IMPORTANT: Please do not go near any downed wires. Assume every wire is a live wire.  There are still wires down in various locations that PSE&G needs to address.
  • The grace period for the payment of 4th quarter property taxes has been extended to Monday, November 19, 2012.
  • The Conservation Center is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be open thisSaturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Westfield Sandy Relief Fund - In the true Westfield spirit of care and giving, I am proud to announce that Town of Westfield is partnering with the Westfield United Fund to help the families who have been most severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. As a result of this historic storm, 13 homes in Westfield sustained serious damage, rendering them uninhabitable. 53 other homes sustained damage that will require extensive repairs. A “Westfield Sandy Relief Fund" has been set up to help our neighbors and friends who suffered extensive damages. To donate to the Hurricane Sandy Westfield Relief Fund, make checks payable to the Westfield United Fund, with "Sandy Relief" on the memo line and mail to: The Westfield United Fund, 301 North Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090.  For further information, call the Westfield United Way at 908-233-2113.
  • Register with FEMA if you sustained losses or damage from Hurricane Sandy by calling 1-800-621 FEMA (3362) or online at www.DisasterAssitance.gov.
  • The Governor’s Executive Order 108 (gas rationing) has been rescinded.

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