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Sussex County Residents Battle Snowstorm Issues Along With Hurricane Sandy Recovery Hurdles

Jennifer Jean Miller

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 • 9:04pm

 

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - After facing the challenges after Hurricane Sandy, Sussex County residents are now battling another weather hurdle, in the form of a snowstorm, which is now blanketing the area. 
 
This storm is insult added to injury to about 15 percent of Sussex County residents, who are still without power, and heat, in frigid temperatures.
 
It is almost a week and a half since the hurricane hit, and, residents have had no power. Some are expected to see their electricity back up by Sunday, and beyond.
 
The county website has been updated to include this schedule, and other information including school closures. The following schools are still closed: Hopatcong (through the remainder of the week), Lenape Valley Regional High School (no power), Byram (closed through the remainder of the week due to lack of power), Green (no power), Stanhope (no power), Sussex Ed. Services Comm. (Northern Hills Academy - school has power, yet there are unsafe road conditions), and Sparta (schools have power, road conditions are still unsafe). The county has links on their website to programs: Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, United Way Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, Relief Drive of Sussex Elks, and Clothing Drive To Help Jersey Shore Families. 
 
Updates from around the county:
 
Andover Township: Andover Township Police Department reported power restorations in several neighborhoods on its Facebook Page
 
Frankford Township: Frankford Township posted on its Facebook Page, "To anyone who still remains without power and is fed up with the mismanagement of JCP&L, file a complaint with the NJ Board of Public Utilites. By phone 1-800-624-0241 or online: http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/complaints/index.html." 
 
Fredon Township: Fredon Township emailed its email subscriber list to advise residents bottled water is available to those without power at the entrance of the Fredon Civic Center, 436 Route 94.
 
Hardyston Township: Hardyston Township Police reported on its Facebook Page, "Recent communications with JCP&L indicate that 752 households in Hardyston are still currently without power. According to their estimates, power to 373 will be restored today and 354 will be restored by Saturday November 10th.This makes up 97% of those without power. We are told the remaining 3% will be restored by Sunday November 11th. We are also told restoration may be sooner. We have been advised these estimates are conservative based on the number of crews currently working throughout the state. We will continue to update any information from JCP&L as we get it." The department also reported a road closing, and said, "Old Prospect School Road closed on 11/7, 11/8 & 11/9 while the Railroad works on rail crossing."  
 
 
Hopatcong Borough: Hopatcong Borough Police reported on its Facebook Page: "News Announcement
11/7/12
 
Mayor Petillo has had conference calls to discuss the devastation throughout NJ with the President of the US along with all of our other representatives. She has had communication with the Governor’s office, Lieutenant Governor, Congressman Frelinghuysen and Senator Oroho to inform them of the problems that the Borough of Hopatcong is still experiencing. All of our representatives have been working persistently on our behalf. 
 
JCPL Update –Unfortunately, the initial JCPL numbers that we received were incorrect. Although we have a JCPL representative assigned to our Borough that we speak with daily, her reports have been sketchy and unreliable. We are currently speaking to JCPL crews ourselves to get current and updated information our residents need.
 
As of today, approximately 20% of Hopatcong Borough has had their electric restored. Right now JCPL is working in the area of Dupont and Lakeside Blvd. As more information comes in we will post it so that we can keep you informed as to their progress.
 
PREPARE YOUR HOME
1. Home Repairs - If you have damage where the electric service enters your house, take a photograph for insurance purposes, then call an insured electrician to make the appropriate repairs as soon as possible.
2. Grinder Pumps – If your grinder pump is overflowing you can have it pumped out by a private company. One company that is working in Hopatcong is Lovenberg’s Portable Toilets at 1800-778-0067
3. Roof – If you have damage to your roof please take a photograph for insurance purposes then call your insurance company for instructions for repairs.
4. We have been designated a Disaster Area. If you have any property damage to your home please call FEMA 1800-721-3362/reference storm number 4086 to file a report as soon as possible.
 
Safety Tips
1. When you are using alternative heat sources please take precautions. Do not use barbeque grills or generators in your garage.
2. Do not drive on closed roads or around barricades.
3. Please drive slowly at night due to limited sight.
4. If you have a non-emergency issue call 973-810-8346
5. If you have an emergency call 911
6. Police will be enforcing the existing town curfew of 930pm for your safety.
 
Town Preparedness
1. Shelter at High School. Please use it. We offer food, showers and sleeping quarters. Pets must be in cages .We have cages available for you if you do not own your own.
2. Children under 18 need to be supervised by a parent or guardian
3. If charging personal electronics, please stay with your items.
4. Non-potable water is available at Fire Company # 3 and DPW
5. Ice and drinking water available at the Fire Company # 3.
6. Recycling center is open 7 days a week from 8am to 3pm until further notice.
7. Excess food waste can be disposed of at the Recycling Center or the DPW Yard everyday 8am – 3pm, until further notice.
8. The DPW is working 7 days a week to clear roads and help the town recover. We cannot work on power lines. We must wait for JCPL technicians to remove lines before the trees can be removed.
 
We are communicating through PATCH, Alternative Press-online and NJ Herald. We have two facebook pages where you can get current information: Hopatcong Borough Facebook and Hopatcong Police Facebook. We are also making announcements on the radio as well.
WRNJ AM 1510
WRNJ FM 92.7
WRNJ FM 104.7
WSUS FM 102.3
WNNJ FM 106.3
NJ101.5 FM
 
Police will be enforcing the existing town curfew of 9:30pm for your safety.
 
We would like to thank all of our first responders who have been working diligently on behalf of our residents. We would also like to thank all the residents who made donations to the shelter, who have brought help to their neighbors and who have offered their facebook for information dissemination. 
 
Due to the current storm we will be cancelling the Hopatcong Mayor/Council meeting for this evening November 7. As soon as the meeting is rescheduled, we will post the information.
 
We are expecting another storm this evening, please prepare yourself or come to the shelter for safety. As we work through the recovery process we appreciate your patience.
 
Additional Contact Numbers
Emergency Alert - to add a cellular phone number or email address to the data base, you can self register by going to the Sussex County website at http://www.sussex.nj.us/ and clicking
the Outbound 9-1-1 icon.
 
Non Emergency Number – 973-810-8346
Emergency Number – 911." And also, "****Info from N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission****
Individuals with driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and inspection stickers that expired in October 2012, have been granted a 30 day extension."
 
 
Town of Newton:  Newton Police wrote on its Facebook Page, "Due to the problems associated with the recent storm, the countywide prescription drug disposal day has been changed and three disposal locations (Franklin, Hopatcong and Lafayette) have been cancelled.
 
Good news... there are two places in our county that have permanent disposal boxes available for Sussex County residents to use 24/7, 365 days of the year! They are located at the Newton Police Department (Trinity Street) and the NJ State Police- Sussex Barracks (Route 206, Augusta.) http://www.sussex.nj.us/Cit-e-Access/news/index.cfm?NID=26997&TID=7&jump2=0&fb=1."
 
Ogdensburg Borough: Ogdensburg Borough reported on its Facebook Page, school will be open Thursday and Friday. 
 
Sparta Township: Sparta Police posted on its Facebook Page: "Important info for those who have Verizon Wireless cell phones and are concerned about plan overages because of increased use related to the storm: http://support.verizonwireless.com/information/sandy-faq.html?email=Responsy." 
 
Vernon Township:  The Vernon Police Department posted on Facebook,  "CANISTEAR ROAD AND RT 515 ARE BOTH OPEN, however, if you can avoid either road, do so. They are both very slippery due to the snow/sleet falling." The department also reported, "Vernon schools are on a 2 hour delay tomorrow 11/8/12/."
 
 
The Alternative Press will continue to keep readers informed of the latest updates during the Hurricane Sandy recovery. Click here to "like" The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page for news and information.  
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