Monday, November 12, 2012

Another Update from Garwood Mayor on Stubborn Outages

From the Mayor's Desk: After numerous emails at midnight with residents and the power people, I received a call from our regional rep with PSE&G at about 9:15 AM Sunday morning that she personally along with 7 work crews/trucks were heading past Lincoln School on 2nd Ave to begin work there.

She assured me that she would be with them to make sure that the residents were restored. I  got my posterior over there as I have repeatedly heard that and similar tunes before.  I was thrilled as I learned that indeed they were all restored, and could see them packing up generators etc. Next stop was over to the 15 or so out on Beech/Pine/West Street area where the crews were getting to work when I arrived….all seemed to go well and I was able to again speak to those effected residents to ensure that they were working properly before the crews left the area.

These workers were from Missouri and Illinois and so happy to help us here. I want to once again tell residents that if you are still without power please, please let me know at PSE&G reported today that 94% of their customers now have power restored but still request that customers without power should continue to self report outages by calling 1-800-436-7744

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick will host a Hurricane Sandy Recovery Information Session for the public on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7p.m. in the Roy Smith Theater on the Cranford campus of Union County College. The College is located at 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.

The types of financial assistance offered by FEMA to eligible residents include: Temporary rental help or a stipend for hotel lodging.vRepairs or replacement for a home or business damaged by the storm (for damage not covered by existing insurance; property owners should also contact their insurance company). Help with medical, dental or funeral expenses. Help with mental health counseling. One important form of help that FEMA can offer is disaster unemployment assistance. This program is designed for persons who have lost their jobs due to the storm, but who are not eligible to receive conventional unemployment insurance payments. In addition, FEMA can help connect eligible residents with legal services, for example in settling landlord-tenant issues that may arise as a result of storm damage. A complete description of FEMA assistance programs for individuals and households is available for download at the “Help After a Disaster” page at or call 1-800-621-FEMA.

This Saturday, 11/16, the third Saturday of November is Mayor’s Saturday, I will be in my office at borough hall to speak with residents and address their concerns.  Please do not hesitate to stop by and we can solve the worlds issues together, for private appointments simply contact Borough Hall at 908-789-0710 and I will call back and set a day and time.

Many issues have been addressed regarding the storms these past two weeks however anyone with tree inquiries should contact the borough offices asap so that they can be resolved in a timely manner. One of the most difficult problems for a mayor in these types of crises is how to keep our communities informed about what is transpiring.  It is especially frustrating for our residents who are becoming more accustomed to getting their news in real time to have to live without cell phones, internet service, and electricity for cooking, heat & hot water , as well as computers and for the kids video gaming. During these most recent storms the internet media played an important role in getting the word out to the residents by allowing the mayors to issue daily status reports on our municipalities. NJ.Com, Facebook and Twitter were also valuable tools for spreading the word on new and continuing developments. Lastly our Garwood Police Department, DPW, Fire Department Volunteers , First Aid Squad, Borough Office Staff and Director of OEM are all to be commended for their level of commitment to the borough even when many of them were without power in their private residences. I extend to them my personal thank you.

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