Power Slowly Returns to a Devastated Township

Hurricane Sandy was twice as bad as last year's Irene.

Emergency Management Coordinator Austin Kosik said Hurricane Sandy was twice as bad as last year’s Irene.

The storm, which hit the area Sunday into Monday, devastated the area, he said, and at least 35 people were taken to the Trinity Presbyterian Church shelter until it lost power and people had to be moved to more permanent shelters in the region.

Power was, and still is, out to most of the community, and the township has set up three Community Support Centers: St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church on Riva Avenue and Chittick School at 5 Flagler St. each offer a warm place to stay for a few hours; and the East Brunswick High School, which is providing showers, heat, and electricity to charge electronics.

Chittick and the high school are open 24 hours a day, and St. Mary’s will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“During the night of the storm, the Board of Education was very supportive. It opened a temporary shelter at Hammarskjold School and we used their buses as the rivers came up in the mist of the storm and we evacuated the historic district and the Windsong area development,” said Kosik.

Kosik says power is being restored slowly, and the Municipal Complex is still down.

“We are getting some restoration, which means they are in town. It’s just a matter of pure physical labor and rebuilding the infrastructure,” said Kosik. “We’ve had massive damage in town.”

Mayor David Stahl said Wednesday that he is not happy with the rate of progress by the utility companies.

“I’m disappointed with the response from power companies,” he said. “I look forward to hearing more information from them so that I can in turn pass that on to residents who have concerns so they can have some reasonable expectations as to when the power is coming back.

“I don’t need statistics, that means nothing to me. I need information so that I can provide that to residents and they can plan their lives accordingly.”

The storm even canceled area trick-or-treating, and while Gov. Chris Christie announced that Halloween can be celebrated on Monday, the township will hold a Trunk-or-Treat at Heavenly Farms. People can bring their candy and kids will trick-or-treat from car to car during the event, to be held rom 1 to 3 p.m.

Still, while there is no power people will be using gnereators, and Mayor Stahl urged those folks to be safe. They should not be placed insidet homes, and have started fires when not placed properly.

“I would like to thank residents for their cooperation in heeding the travel ban advisory for the post part. This continues to be a community that cares about neighbors. They continue to help out and I appreciate that.”

Other information includes: The recycling center is closed until Saturday. It will be open Saturday and Sunday from 8 .m. to 4 p.m. Garbage collection is taking place and will continue through Saturday. Please leave garbage out at curb and not in street. The primary focus will be on trash before debris. Tree limbs are to be cut to 4 feet in length and do not need to be bundled.

The following 3 gas stations are open:
Hess-Rt 18 South & Highland Street
Hess - Rt 18 North & Albert Street
Luke Oil - Rt 18 North & Highland Street
Be patient, there are very long lines

The Rabies clinic scheduled for Saturday has been postponed.

All soccer games scheduled for this sweekend are canceled.



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Kenny November 01, 2012 at 07:39 PM
How dare you say this is a "devastated township" there actually places that are devastated unlike east Brunswick. They deserve much more attention than this wealthy town.
Carrie November 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
This is not the time to focus on someone's choice of words Everyone has some level of devastation and we are not all "wealthy" Give the Mayor a break
Tony November 01, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Out come the trolls to argue semantics. Kenny this isn't a contest, though it is quite devastating to have a tree come crashing down on your home, destroying chimneys and puncturing your roof. As far as the "attention," this is the East Brunswick Patch, so I'm not sure what your point is there.
catherine November 01, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Thanks for your input Tony! I couldn't agree more with you. That's right Kenny, we all share in the "devastation" in one form or another...and are in this mess together. For you to imply otherwise...well, this isn't a pissing contest...Like Tony says, my chimney was also ripped off which resulted in a hole in the roof and the siding ripped out...so now I don't have any electric (nor gas)...which was shut down a few days ago...and had to flee from my house...I have nothing, no electric, no gas, no hot water, no heat....and am suffering from a chronic illness on top of all of it! So don't tell me I along with others aren't devastated..I am grateful to have our lives intact, but it is a shame that in a country like ours we are now living as in the Third World.....And I know what that is, as I travel the world extensively in my career...This is not real living, just existing on a prayer right now.
catherine November 01, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Kenny, and one more thing, not all of us are RICH in East Brunswick. If I were I certainly would not choose to live in this area nor in the USA. Believe me when I tell you Switzerland would be my chosen domilcile instead..That aside, I agree that other areas are suffering more than ours, especially the Shore areas with complete loss and true devastation in every sense of the word...Our thoughts are with them for a speedy rebuilding of their destroyed homes and their destroyed lives!!!
catherine November 01, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I really don't understand why society is keeping outdated and ancient forms of getting electricity to homes, when it is because of this system that such devastation occurs! Only to keep a few individuals employed at between $100-$300 per hour (obscene if you ask me)..and I know as my ex's father worked for an electric company...when the solution is simple. Everywhere else in the civilized world, Europe and in New York the lines are underground and when a storm comes through, there is no problem! Why don't we do this to be proactive in the beginning rather than pay more at the conclusion of a storm???/ I ask you...
Corey Pearson November 01, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I agree with you Catherine with placing the lines underground just wondering will flooding effect that too
Jean Vitta November 02, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I would like to know where the millions of dollars that were given by homeland security to utilities to modernize facilities. It is obvious it was not spent on infrastructure
Anonymous November 02, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I don't care whether you're here, there, Switzerland, rich, poor, above or below ground...turn the power back on in East Brunswick already. Milltown and Spotswood have had power, and yet most of us (besides RT18 ) doesn't.
Christopher November 02, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Oh god, Kenny, zip it.
catherine November 02, 2012 at 02:23 AM
I agree with you Jean. Hopefully the money that was allocated to the improving the infrastructure will be put to its correct use. The way we are going with a hurricane happening once a year and resulting in such losses, someone will realize the smart course of action. We can only hope...
catherine November 02, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Good suggestion about the flooding Cory. Do we have anyone knowledgeable to chime in on this?
catherine November 02, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Agreed. Well said Anonymous! I don't know about you, but I work better for a better economy when I have heat to warm me, food in my stomach, and light to read by for my work...No matter who you are...we are with you..turn the power back in East Brunswick already!
catherine November 02, 2012 at 02:33 AM
That's right Carrie, not everyone in East Brunswick is "wealthy" ...maybe in heart and spirit..this coming from someone hard-working who like the rest of us lives pretty much paycheck to paycheck.
Steven J. Weinberg November 02, 2012 at 03:59 AM
To: Me From: PSE&G Subject: PSE&G storm update Date: October 31 at 7:00 pm (day 3 after Sandy's run) .... Our best forecast as of now is that we will have virtually all of our [1.6 million] impacted customers restored to service within the next seven to 10 days. There may still be isolated pockets of customers who have individual flooding or downed line issues that may take slightly longer. .... PSE&G has assembled a "virtual army" of over 1,730 technicians - 600 PSE&G workers and 1,050 workers from across the country -- plus an additional 600 contractors to cut and remove trees. ======================================== Seems to me that if 1730 technicians can get us our power back (Statewide) in 7-10 days, then twice that number can get us our power back twice as fast. So why not put 3500 workers to work on the job? Why not 5000? Cutting away felled trees and replacing downed utility poles is not rocket science. When did it get to be OK for taxpayers and utility customers to wait 10-13 days to get their power back at the beginning of November? Steve
Danny November 02, 2012 at 04:16 AM
This is BS, enough is enough, freezing, limited on food. Rt 18 has power back some places on uni rd has power, tices ln, and milltown near target and home depot have power. If we don't get power back by sat we should all riot lol.
Mark November 02, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Mayor Stall, I think it is time, you start to get more vocal. We have heard very little from you over the past 4 days. You need to demand answers not except lame excuses, then delay us from knowing what is going on. I know you can't fix the power yourself, however, it is time to step up and make some real noise, on behalf of the people, in east brunswick. We want answers and we want them today.
Sally November 02, 2012 at 10:27 AM
This is nuts already. I just heard that the power isn't on in east Brunswick because on wed they tried to turn it back on and blew more parts. Now we are waiting for replacemt parts. Hope not true.
Anonymous November 02, 2012 at 11:57 AM
^ power went on for 10 minutes around 2am on Wednesday, then something blew and the power went back out. 1. It's Friday, where's the heat 2. Some people in EB never lost power 3. Both Spotswood and Milltown have been restored, both towns surrounding EB 4. twitter.com/MayorDavidStahl seems to be the only way to get an "answer" (if you'd call it that)
Christopher November 02, 2012 at 03:32 PM
PSE&G is FINALLY starting to repair the downed poles and wires on Dutch Road as of this morning.
jit November 02, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I would like to know how the decision is made at PSE&G to prioritize locations. I have no issue with them going to the most devastated areas of the state and repair their power lines before East Brunswick since those people need to start on their clean-up quickly. But why do Milltown, Metuchen, and South-Brunswick come before East Brunswick? Is it because of some really good reasons or whether it is because someone at PSE&G is allocating limited resources at his or her discretions? Does lobbying from the township leadership play a part? It is too convenient for PSE&G to give us a blanket 7-10 days timeline. How do we know for sure that they are really working hard to restore the power with maximum resources assembled and not using that 7-10 days timeline as a comfort cushion?
Shellie Cambisi Weber November 02, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Does anyone know if the Welsh Park area off of Summerhill Rd. has power?
catherine November 02, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Does anyone know if the Route 18 area near Tices Lane has any power finally?
April Modrak November 03, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Our problem here in East Brunswick is the trees. We need to take the old large trees down and replant seedlings. Look up, see all lines tangled in the trees. Why dont we start here.


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