WESTFIELD, NJ - At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday night, Nov. 3, Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky and town officials held a virtual town hall by telephone and provided an update on recovery efforts in the aftermth of Hurricane Sandy.
PSE&G has fixed issues related to substations and switching stations and is now working directly in Westfield. Schools, gas stations, police and fire are priorities.
Ten Westfield homes have been condemned due to Sandy. Fifty-two more sustained serious damage. 153 roads were closed. 90+ remain closed. Town Administrator Jim Gildea said, "We're on top of it."
Only PSE&G can remove downed power lines. Town trucks are following them to remove downed trees. Reopening Central Avenue is a high priority.
The Mayor urged residents to check on your neighboors. If you or someone you know needs to get warm there are two local overnight options: Jefferson school will open at 8 tonight with no food or cots and the County shelter is at 220 Walnut Street in Cranford. It's pet friendly, comfortable and you can get warm meals. There is plenty of room at both places and you can choose to stop in or stay all night.
If your neighborhood has power and you don't, call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734. This is the only way they will know you're in the dark.
Jefferson is currently the only school with power. Otherwise, schools are ready to go on Monday. Buses will have gas. If your kids can't get to school because their route is unsafe, they will not be penalized.
If your kids miss school Thursday or Friday because your family planned a vacation, they will not be penalized. Parent teacher conferences will go on as scheduled, but if you need to, you can reschedule yours.
Police Chief David Wayman said that there has been no increase in crime in Westfield due to Sandy.
The Mayor said that the rumor that Westfield armory is dipensing gas is untrue. He noted that West Orange and Teaneck armories are dispensing gas only to first responders.
Fire Chief Daniel Kelly urged residents to make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working. Keep fuel-powered equipment outside away from homes.
The Mayor noted that there have been several incidents involving carbon monoxide since the hurricane.
The Health Department hotline is 211. Disaster mental health hotline is 1-877-294-4357.
The grace period for taxes has been extended to Nov 7.
Recycling pickup will resume Nov 12. You can bring recycling as well as organic debris to the conservation center. It will be open 9 to 5 this Sun. and 9 to 3 all week.
Organic debris pickup began today at the schools and will continue throughout town. Residents are asked to stop pushing their debris in front of schools.
The Mayor said that while waiting in line for gas, please do not block driveways.
The Mayor concluded, "It's in Westfield's DNA to help people out."