The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.
Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to over 3,000 9-1-1 calls in two days. Schools were closed for remarkably only two days.
Our DPW crews went to work immediately clearing the snow and downed trees so that PSE&G could restore power quickly, while our police and fire departments ensured we were safe. Even though Westfield suffered the most damage of any town in the county, our roads were cleared and power restored more quickly than most neighboring towns. And working the magic behind the scenes was our town administrator, Jim Gildea, whose professionalism and critical relationships with the utility companies was instrumental in restoring power.
And once again, we saw the best in our community. Temple Emmanu-el, Coldwell Banker and other businesses opened the doors to those without power. Local residents delivered lunch to our DPW workers who had been working for 30 hours straight. Jersey Mike’s donated sandwiches and Stop & Shop donated baked goods to our fire and police departments. Neighbors helped neighbors; impromptu sleepovers happened; lots of wine was consumed. But most importantly, and very gratefully, our residents demonstrated resilience, compassion and patience.
Thanks to all of you for your many acts of kindness, and to DPW Chief Greg O’Neil, Police Chief Wayman and Fire Chief Kelly, and all of our town employees, for their dedication and tireless efforts during the week.