Westfield Picking up the Pieces After Hurricane Sandy
Friday, November 2, 2012 • 3:19pm
WESTFIELD, NJ - Signs on the Westfield Memorial Library's front doors warn, "Sorry, no wi-fi access." But that hasn't stopped hoards of residents from coming in to use the library's computers (these have internet access), plugging in their mobile devices and getting warm. And with no television at many homes, plenty of people here are rediscovering books as a form of entertainment.
Fliers from Mayor Andy Skibitsky are available at the library with the messages he's been sending out via the town's website (www.westfieldnj.gov) and twitter (@townofwestfield). The mayor is asking that anyone available help distribute these in their neighborhood to those without power who may not have any other access to information.
Families may need the distraction as Westfield schools are struggle to reopen amid power outages. According to Councilman James Foerst, Next week grades K through 5 are scheduled to have 4-hour sessions Mondy through Wednesday and full days Thursday and Friday. Grades 6 through12 are scheduled have full day all week.
Meanwhile, Downtown Westfield is still largely without power, according to Sherry Cronin, Executive Director of the Downtown Westfield Corporation. "PSE&G is projecting November 11 to have power restored. At least there has been progress. Hopefully, it will not take that long," she told TAP.
PSE&G is reporting that between 5,001 and 10,000 Westfield customers are still without power.
At the Westfield Diner, the power is on and customers are lined up out the door. The hostess is not taking names and instead taking customers as they get to the front of the line. As they wait, hungry diners plug in their mobile phones in the foyer. No one seems to mind that some items are missing from the menu.
Next door, Xocolatz is open, as well.
Gasoline is still hard to come by in the area. A gas station on Route 22 East and Park and a Sunoco station on South Avenue in Plainfield are up and running, with lines stretching as far as the eye can see. A gas station across the street from the Cranford Police Station is reported to be open, as well.
For fresh food, TAP has discovered that ShopRite in Clark, ShopRite in Garwood and A&P in South Plainfield all have perishables. Other stores are running on generators and have non-perishable food. Trader Joe's in Westfield remains closed.
In response to rumors that Westfield's water was to be shut off, both Police Chief David Wayman and the mayor have said that Westfield's water supply is in no danger and that Westfield residents will continue to have plenty of clean water.
The November 3 Support Our Troops Casino Night has been postponed, as the Westfield Armory is without power.