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Power By the Weekend? Possibly

Snow and wind hampered recovery efforts, but officials are optimistic that most power can be restored this weekend.

East Brunswick still has between 2,000 and 5,000 people without power, according to PSE&G, and including JCP&L customers, about 10 percent of the township might still be in the dark, said Austin Kosik, coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management.

Despite power being out for more than 10 days in some areas, Kosik is hopeful that residents will finally find some relief this weekend.

He said that utility workers from PSE&G and JCP&L are working on larger communities before they hit individual or smaller areas. In addition, the township was told that crews would be in the area of Rolling Road, Watchung Road and Valiant, and in the Thrush Drive, Redcoat Drive and Meadowlark Lane area tomorrow.

“They’re still concentrating on big neighborhoods that are still in the dark,” said Kosik. “What added to the troubles is the snowfall on the trees that were already weekend by the storm, and then we had additional trees and tree limbs that are down.”

Kosik said he thinks the nor’easter that produced that snow contributed to the Jensen Street area problems on Thursday, which lost power several times. In addition, it was during that nor’easter that much of the township lost power again. The outage came at the same time area mayors were on a conference call with the PSE&G president and chief operating officer Ralph LaRossa to get an update on the work being done in the region. At the time, a 69,000-volt line in a substation blew. As of Thursday, 40,000 PSE&G customers were impacted by the storm, which brought 5 to 6 inches of snow to the township. Winter Storm Athena hit Middlesex and Mercer counties the hardest, LaRossa said, and repair work in both counties slowed down. In Middlesex County, 17,000 customers are still without power from Hurricane Sandy on Thursday, down from 24,000 Wednesday. Athena affected about 7,600 homeowners yesterday in Middlesex, he said.

Because of the storm, the deadline LaRossa had set for all customers to get their lights back on was changed from Friday to Saturday, mostly because of the nor'easter's damage to power lines.

Other items of note from the past week include Ryders Lane from Dunham’s Corner Road to the Aldersgate United Methodist Church. The stretch of road was closed because a utility pole from Sandy was leaning over the road. Traffic couldn’t be allowed on the road because vibrations from trucks might have caused it to fall.

In addition, Kosik said he still expects a FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center to open at the East Brunswick Division of Recreation and Parks Maintenance Facility on Dunhams Corner Road. The office was expected to open Thursday but was postponed due to manpower issues, he said. In the meantime, a mobile FEMA center is open at the Sayreville Senior Center, 423 Main Street, Sayreville.

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Joe November 09, 2012 at 01:22 PM
This is a joke..its almost 2 weeks..they have thousands of linemen coming from all over the country and I still don't have power....save the excuses...now they wanna bs about a nor'easter so they can get 3 more days of excuses to their story. Its gonna be in the 60's the next few days..whats the excuses gonna be then??? to warm? No one should be out for power this long! Lawsuits should be filed against them for this!
Arlene S. November 09, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I don't believe this at all. We haven't seen one PSE&G truck in our neighborhood since the hurricane. The wire feeding part of Winton Rd, Valiant Rd, and Winton Rd is still laying where the hurricane left it. Mayor Stahl seems to believe anything PSE&G tells him. East Brunswick OEM is as in the dark as we are. We are constantly given incorrect information. Although Stahl was told that PSE&G will be in the area of Rolling Rd and Winton Rd today, he's been told this before and the power crews never materialized. It was 49 degrees in my bedroom this morning. No help from Mayor Stahl. It would take an act of God to get power back by the weekend. Moreover, PSE&G would actually have to show up in our neighborhood. Where are all these out of state workers? Why aren't any being utilized in East Brunswick?
pat November 09, 2012 at 05:00 PM
As of today, we still do not have power. In the last 18 months this section of EB has been with out power for 33 days. Unacceptable. I am talking about Iris court, Karen Drive, Inwood and Sand road, all off of Riva Avenue. Even though we have a Milltown address, we do pay our taxes to East Brunswick. Going Forward, maybe we can be a Priority.. Let's switch up.. Thank you.
Ching Lum November 09, 2012 at 05:29 PM
The problem is there is no accountability from any power company, thus no, or unreliable, projection to restoration. As homeowner/residents, we understand infrastructure failures and damage from mother nature. What we really want is efficient communication and reliable projections of outages. Instead of saying they have x number of workers on the ground, they should be mandated to fix by a specified and reasonable time frame based on the issue and then calculate how many workers are needed to meet that deadline. For each day they are over that deadline, they should be pay a fine. This would be a start to holding them accountable. Of course this would need to be addressed on a state level but something has to change.

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