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Sandy Update from the Mayor, Oct. 27

Notes from Oct. 26 meeting and other emergency information.

Springfield officials have been actively preparing in anticipation of the major storm system that is developing.  In a final pre-weekend meeting at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 26, Public Safety sub-committee members Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady and Committeeman Marc Krauss were briefed by the Springfield Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, Fire Department, First Aid Squad, Health Department and Public Works Department about their efforts thus far, additional steps to be taken and schedules, status reports for equipment and personnel and areas for concern.

OEM advised that reports indicate the storm is unlikely to miss New Jersey but the impact is uncertain.  Noticeable effects of the storm will begin later Sunday and last into Wednesday.  A local shelter will be established if needed at the Chisholm Center.  It has been inspected, prepared and stocked for operation.  Police and Fire indicated personnel were advised to be at the ready and adjustments to schedules were made.  Checklists were referenced for Police and Fire motor vehicles and watercraft to ensure operability and the availability of equipment and fuel.  First Aid Squad indicated they would relocate to the shelter when established.  All communication equipment was reviewed.  Health Department was preparing to assist in staffing shelters and issue advisories concerning public health matters.  Public Works focused on leaf collection and on all water systems to include storm drains, basins, flood gates, pumping stations, sanitary stations, intake grates and valves.  All were checked and will continue to be monitored.  Public Works crews will be working on Sunday again to revisit these items.

Necessary soil erosion efforts are being put in place at the site of the athletic turf field project.  At our request and thanks to the assistance of Senator Tom Kean, New Jersey Department of Transportation officials were requested and they have confirmed that the tubes of the Morris Avenue bridge were clear.  Officials from neighboring communities upstream were contacted.  Millburn opened the dam at Taylor Park to lower water levels and increase capacity of their reservoir during the storm.  Mayor Shehady is meeting with Orange Mayor Warren and other members of the Mayors Council at Campbell’s Mill Pond to request similar action upstream.  JCP&L representatives were contacted and informed us that parent company FirstEnergy is mobilizing personnel and securing outside contractors to assist in the restoration process in the event of service interruptions.

Congressman Leonard Lance offered federal assistance informed Springfield that FEMA has placed staff in New Jersey for the storm.

To assist, residents should clear the street in front of their homes of leaves and should not place new piles leaves in the street.  Residents in flood prone areas should move vehicles to higher ground.  Vehicles can be parked at the Springfield Municipal Pool lot (at Morrison Road) and the Evangel Baptist Church lot (at Shunpike Road).  Residents should have a kit of emergency supplies, make a plan, and stay informed.  Residents should register for the Springfield Community-Stat Public Notification System at www.springfield-nj.us to include cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses in addition to land-lines to ensure notification in the event of power outages.

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