PSEG removes live downed power wires on Valley Way at 12:00 am. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
After PSEG removes the wires, the township has the fallen tree cut down and removed before 10 am. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
People wait in a long line to fill their gas cans at the Essex Gas Station at Eagle Rock and Prospect. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
The lines for cars waiting for gas stretched down Eagle Rock Avenue and down to OSPAC on Prospect. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Vic Cirilo, center, and Sal Anderton, left, deliver pizzas and water to Crestview Village off Eagle Rock Avenue. The building houses several seniors and they are without power. Cirilo will be heading with food and water to Renna house, another senior residence with no power, at 6:00 pm tonight . Credits: Cynthia Cumming
West Orange Residents Struggle to Get Gas; Updates and Photos
Thursday, November 1, 2012 • 5:09pm
WEST ORANGE, NJ - Clean up and power restoration began in earnest today, while West Orange residents struggled to find gas for their vehicles and generators and prepare for the possibility that they might not have power until November 9. Two days ago, PSEG officials had said power would be back by November 5, but the date was pushed ahead as issues with power plants, switching, and relay stations have not been fully resolved.
Power was restored to the Englishtown section of West Orange as well as the Prospect Avenue-Eagle Rock Avenue area. Parts of St. Cloud have been restored, and part of the area along Valley Road. Pal's Cabin remains open for business, and the K-Mart shopping plaza is open. Whole Foods has power and charging stations. Essex Green also has power and businesses are open. Town crews are removing trees quickly as PSEG removes the wires. This has been an issue as township crews cannot touch trees with wires in or around them.
Additional businesses on Pleasant Valley Way are open, like Sefarat Kebob, Dunkin Donuts, and Burger King. Lotus at Main Street and Harrison is open though the area remains without power.
The CVS on Eagle Rock Avenue is open.
The AMC Movie Theater at Essex Green is open.
Gas remains a huge problem as residents wait in line for hours to get gas for their cars and generators. So many cars were trying to get gas that traffic lanes were blocked at the Exxon at Prospect and the Sunoco on Prospect.
The Eagle Rock Avenue post office is open.
The NJEA Teacher Convention, to be held November 8 and 9 in Atlantic City, has been canceled. According to Barbara Keshishian, President, “Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of everyone in Atlantic City, and everyone planning to attend our convention this year,” Keshishian said. “Because we are a statewide organization, and public schools across the state have been grappling with the impact of Sandy all week long, we have to consider the feasibility of holding this event in a broader context. Like Atlantic City, New Jersey’s school districts need time to recover and regroup from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.”
“The NJEA Convention is a massive event, involving tens of thousands of people. We concluded it was simply not advisable to try to have that many people on the roads and using public transportation while so many communities are struggling to restore power and basic services to their residents – including NJEA members,” she said. The NJEA "strongly urge(s) all districts and local associations to work cooperatively in order to best use those two days for the benefit of students, their families and district employees. If members have questions about the status of those days in their local district, they should direct those questions through their local president to the local UniServ Field Representative.
It remains to be seen however, if West Orange Public Schools, who remain closed today and tomorrow, will be able to use those days next week as make up days. By contract, teachers are required to have those days off to attend the conference. Most of the West Orange schools remain without power. There remains the possibility that Governor Christie could waive the days.
The SAT exam scheduled for Saturday, November 3, at WOHS, is canceled and rescheduled for November 17.
All West Orange High School sports games are canceled for this week. The soccer playoffs are hoped to be rescheduled for next week, though no date is set. Senior Day and the WOHS-Livingston game is rescheduled for Saturday, November 10 at WOHS.
Mountaintop Soccer is canceled through this weekend.
From the township: Garbage and Bulk Trash Collection will resume today, Thursday, November 1st for the Monday andThursday zone, and will continue Friday and Saturday if this is your collection zone.
There are no water alerts at this time but you may experience some low water pressure and discoloration. New Jersey American Water is monitoring the water and there is NO boil water advisory for West Orange though water conservation is recommended.
Residents can place storm-related tree debris in front of their homes, but it must be separated from leaves. The Township will not pick up large tree limbs, stumps, tree trunks or whole trees. If a tree has fallen on or near your property and you are unsure if it belongs to the town, please call Public Works at 973-325-4067. The state is encouraging residents/businesses to dial “2-1-1” 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need help in understanding and finding available assistance services for FEMA, Insurance, etc.
Residents without power can get ice and water at the PSEG building at 59 Main Street from 10-4 pm.
The town curfew remains in effect from 6 am - 6 pm.
Mayor Parisi stated "Many residents have asked questions or expressed concerns regarding the curfew recently enacted. The temporary curfew is a result of the significant power outages in our town and follows discussions and input from our police professionals. With no power, no lights on in homes and no street lights, neighborhoods are extremely dark and combined with storm debris and live wires on the ground, there exists a significant risk of harm to people walking our neighborhoods. This storm brought down over 150 trees and 230 wires around our Township. We believe it is in everyone's interest to remain at home after dark for the next several days in order to provide all emergency personnel and repair crews proper time to restore power to our homes and return our community to normal. Naturally, deference will be extended to any residents traveling to or from work, frequenting businesses in town, or traveling for any other emergent need. The Township, for everyone’s safety, simply does not want people walking around dark neighborhoods and would prefer residents remain at home or in secure locations as much as possible the next several days. Stay safe..."
In a separate phone call from the Alternative Press to collect updated information on burglaries and crimes, the WOPD, though unable to provide exact numbers due to the ongoing emergencies in town, said that they did not believe any burglaries were reported last night.
From the Disaster Assistance Website: "Essex County residents and business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy are eligible for federal disaster assistance. If you sustained losses you can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
If you are in need of further explanation/information call FEMA Helpline at (1-800-621-3362).