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Post-Sandy Information Bulletin for November 7-10

Wednesday through Saturday Post-Sandy Information Bulletin from Springfield Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady based on most recent reports received.

As a public service, I created http://411.shehady.us to provide information, updates and resources pertaining to the most recent storm "Sandy."

Springfield officials are persistent in their efforts to return our community to normalcy.  Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady has been, and will continue to be in contact with federal, state and county officials, as well as nearby communities. 

The number one concern for all of us is the restoration of power to Springfield residents and businesses. The Township does not supply the electricity but serves as an advocate for the residents and businesses and we are exhausting all options.

The President, Governor and Mayor have all placed tremendous pressure on Jersey Central Power & Light to act promptly and with haste.  Mayor Shehady is in daily communication with the Governor’s office and the Board of Public Utilities to take up the cause for timely restoration and helpful, accurate information from JCP&L.  Repeated persistent requests for more location-specific information have been made but it has not been provided by the utility.

As of November 7, 2012 at 2:20 p.m., 33% of Springfield Jersey Central Power & Light customers are still affected by power outages and approximately 4,965 have been restored. Restoration and work in particular areas does not appear to be based on any priority or location. No area is intentionally being neglected or preferred and no one has been “forgotten” or “ignored”.  We have provided JCP&L with lists of downed lines, poles and wires and we've submitted priority lists for government buildings and schools.  The restoration process is solely up to JCP&L - they dispatch crews.  They announced, “Most of the 199,000 FirstEnergy customers in New Jersey and West Virginia who remain without power will be restored by the end of this weekend.”

The most recent information provided Jersey Central Power & Light Restoration Estimates for Springfield by date:

November 7 – 1140, November 8 - 0, November 9 – 381, November 10 – 132

As soon as any additional details are available, they will be announced.

  • Considering the circumstances, the Township is making resources available to residents who need it. The Chisholm Community Center (100 South Springfield Avenue) serves as a Recharge & Warming Station.  It will also be used as an information center and is available for all residents as an overnight shelter.  Because there are still widespread outrages and cold temperatures, please consider utilizing this valuable resource.  Free ice and water is available and we are also able to obtain meals for anyone in need.  Please check up on the needs of friends and neighbors.
  • The Union County Shelter continues to operate at 220 Walnut Avenue in the Community Center at Cranford. Call 908-709-7283, press 2 when prompted. The shelter is also pet friendly, but residents must bring their own supplies and cleanup equipment.  The Union County Sheriff’s Office will provide transport for ambulatory residents to the shelter. They should call 908-654-9881 to arrange transport.
  • Do not run generators inside of your home or in any enclosed space such as a garage, even if the garage door is open.  Fuel-powered equipment should be at least 15 feet from your home to prevent potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Residents seeking medication refills who are unable to obtain prescriptions from their doctor can bring empty bottles to Springfield CVS (178 Morris Avenue).  These locations will provide a temporary refill even if not previous clients.
  • FEMA has established a number of helpful hotlines.  The Disaster Distress Hotline for those who need counseling in coping with the crisis should call 1-800-985-5990, Text: ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746 or visit http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov.  The Disaster Legal Service Helpline is now operational.  The number is 1-866-864-4464.  FEMA Community Relations Teams continue to go door to door and visit residents to inform them of the FEMA claims process.  If appropriate, residents should contact FEMA at http://www.disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-3362 to register and begin their claim process.
  • Residents can call 2-1-1 for any general storm related question.  This hotline is being manned as a general hotline 24/7 until further notice.  Residents can also use this hotline for any health or public health question as state health department staff will be available on weekdays from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Seidel and Deputy Coordinator Wally Schultz and Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady are available by calling 973-376-1082 during normal business hours.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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