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.