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Schools Closed Monday, Wires Still Down, Meals Available in Bernards

Additional homes and areas expected to come online over weekend.

Thousands of homes are expected to continue to come online through this weekend, with the township website quoting estimates that another 2,228 customers will receive power on Saturday, and an estimated 1,622 will be back online by Sunday night.

By that point, about 41 percent of the township's residents should have power back, according to power company estimates quoted by the township. As of Saturday's 9 a.m. post on the website, 10,069 homes were without power.

Schools closed on Monday

A phone alert went out to parents on Saturday evening saying that township schools are closed on Monday. Parents were advised to refer to the township website for continuing information.

The 6 p.m. update on the website said that JCP&L's website said that power outages in the township were down to 8,068, a reduction from 9,335 at 11 a.m. and down from 13,710 on Tuesday at 9 a.m., hours after Sandy's damaging winds.

"We are trying to get more detailed information regarding neighborhoods and streets if possible," the website said.

Scheduled recycling collections will resume on Monday where streets are passable. Election sites to be used if power is restored are on the website.

An earlier letter online from Bernards Mayor Mary Pavlini said the township has no information for when specific neighborhoods might be restored.

In the meantime, water main breaks were being addressed on Saturday morning that affected Linden, Blackburn, Knollcroft, Spencer, Oxbow, Dryden, Summit, and Pennwood resulting. Those streets have little or no water pressure for these properties, according to the website.

"The New Jersey American Water has advised as we receive further information, we will let our residents know," the website said.

Some residents reportedly blocked by downed trees with wires

While the situation may not have been Township Committeeman John Carpenter on Saturday afternoon confirmed that some streets in Bernards also are blocked by downed trees mixed with wires.

Deputy Mayor Carolyn Gaziano agred that those locations should be given the highest priority with JCP&L tree crews. They include: Deer Ridge Road, Lone Oak Road, Old Farm Road, Old Army Road, Hardscrabble Road, Fieldstone Drive, Dayton Street, Stone Ridge Road, Parkwood Lane and Parkview Avenue.

Those residents sometimes — and sometimes can't — bypass downed trees, Carpenter said. However, those streets are blocked to emergency vehicles, he said.

"We are doing everything we possibly can," Carpenter said. He said the township had contacted JCP&L, state Sen. Jon Bramnick (R-district 21) and the township's coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management, Mike Shimsky, had been in communication with the county OEM.

Carpenter said that assisting those residents is top priority, and next is getting facilities like the Somerset Hills YMCA's main facility on Mount Airy Road back up since it can offer services to many residents.

Do not touch wires

"It's extremely frustrating because we can't move (wires)," Carpenter said.

Police have meals available

The Bernards Township Police Department currently has two pallets of "heater meals," meals ready to eat, at the police headquarters lobby for public distribution. They will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until supplies run out.

Delivery of water and ice will be arriving shortly, police said.

The Pill Hill recycling center will be open for brush only (no bulk) everyday beginning Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Only the Meeker Road
entrance is open at this time. Bernards Township identification is required.

The 3 p.m. update on the township website said the Somerset County Clerk’s office will be open Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist residents who want to vote by mail.

On Monday, Nov. 5, the office will issue mail-in ballots from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. The statutory deadline to accept mail-in ballots is 3 p.m. Monday. Residents who pick up a vote-by-mail ballot Saturday, Sunday or Monday will be able to complete it and drop it off at the Board of Elections, located next to the County Clerk’s Office.

The office is located on the first floor of the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove Street, Somerville, N.J. 08876. Residents should come in person to pick up a vote-by-mail ballot. For further information, call the Somerset County Clerk’s Office at (908) 231-7013.

There is free parking in the Bernie Field Parking Deck, which connects to the county building; the entrance is on East High Street.

While much of the northern part of the township remained without power, modern conveniences had returned to the southern portion along Martinsville Road, where the Somerset Hills YMCA has been reported open, along with businesses, shops and restaurants there down through the 100 Marketplace Mall.

But as of Saturday morning, downtown Basking Ridge remained blockaded from both the north and south entrances along Finley Avenue. However, most of the two large trees that had fallen across North Finley just beyond The Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge had been removed as of Saturday morning.

Pavlini and Carpenter both said that they and the Township Committee commended our volunteer first reponders in the Basking Ridge Fire Company No. 1, Liberty Corner Fire Company and Liberty Corner First Aid Squad, along with the Department of Public Works and the municipal staff.

Meanwhile, the Liberty Corner Fire Company announced it will hold a free spaghetti dinner at the Liberty Corner firehouse on Church Street between 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

On Saturday morning, municipal employees were at the township police headquarters at 1 Collyer Lane to take electronic devices that can be charged at that location.

Regular Sunday masses, recharging both electronically and spiritually at St. James

The Rev. Glenn Comandini said there are generators in the older chapel at St. James Roman Catholic Church and the regular schedule of masses, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and continuing at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon on Sunday will be held. However, as of Saturday morning, the church was to be closed, and the reverend cautioned that those who attend Saturday evening mass would need to park in the dark.

Comandini said the chapel, running on generator power, had been open for people to come in to charge electronic devices, make conference calls and have access to heat, hot water and a little prayer.

Fellowship Village on Allen Road remains open as a warming center in the Liberty Corner area.

Dale Burke November 04, 2012 at 12:25 AM
To think our mayor didn't have the PERSONAL cell numbers if the president on down at JCPL is a disgrace. SHAME ON YOU!
#baskingridgeresident November 04, 2012 at 12:33 AM
couldn't agree more. The map is for all of Bernards Township not individual streets. I don't think it's asking a lot to know specific areas...especially for the elderly and those with young children.
GL November 04, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I drove around different areas of the town For 30 minutes and didn't see one JCP&L employee all day. They say 2000 people got energy back, I question that. The only neighborhoods that had power back, had power yesterday. Something doesn't add up
Buddy J November 04, 2012 at 01:26 AM
We paid a premium for our homes in The Hills with all underground utilities. However, what section is the first to go during storms? Underground utilities don't require tree triming. So, now let's hear JCP&L explain this one!
Many November 04, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I don't think there is anyone to blame. I believe the power company and officials are doing the best they can and complaining doesn't help. At least we didn't loose our homes.
peter33 November 04, 2012 at 02:15 AM
The mayor is a fraud. What are her qualifications? Why can't she provide a daily email with progress reports? Probably because she is in Florida soaking up the sun. JCPL needs to explain why the recovery is so slow. We are not children. Where is the information on neighborhoods that are scheduled to be restored. Can't wait to vote her sorry ass out!
Spring Ridge Resident November 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
JCP&L play a numbers game. Offering up the information you are asking for, what I want to know, as well, would force them to be accountable. Throwing out numbers in general terms, covers their butts. As for Spring Ridge - hey, Mr. Formica!! Wherefore art thou?? You sent out notices pre-Sandy, dictating to us that we were not permitted to use candles, or store firewood near our properties, etc, for fear of fire damage. If you properly maintained the landscape for which you are responsible, like keeping trees properly trimmed, and planted a safe distance from our preoperties, YOUR carelessness would not have cost us as much as it has!! And why, with all you colelct in dues, could you not purchase a generator for the club house, so during a natural disaster, you could offer shelter? You toss out all your Thou Shalt Not rules, but your actions, or shall I say, lack of action, cost us all so much more than the possible risk fo lighting candles in the dark.
Hills residents November 04, 2012 at 10:04 AM
Jcpl is a joke. We are grateful that the hills community doesn't have too much damage, but where are the utility guys to restore the power. 41% by sunday night ? They should be embarassed to give us this estimate.
R V November 04, 2012 at 10:44 AM
I live in the Hills too and I no longer believe that JCP&L's estimates in our town are credible. I drove around town yesterday and didn't see any real progress.
Faith Cap November 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM
We live on Columbia drive Bernardsville. My mom is 90 years old. WE ARE SO COLD. I CANT GET GAS. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL US HOW MUCH LONGER WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR HEAT AND ELECTRICITY. It has been 6 days.
Shirley Titus November 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I agree! JCP&L is a disgrace. I think they completely stopped work yesterday. 41% restoration after 6 days is unacceptable. The township officials are required to provide residents information about areas being restored. They should put more pressure on JCP&L to do better than this.
Spring Ridge 2 November 04, 2012 at 12:35 PM
How is it that the tree down on King George Rd. blocking access to Rt 78 and probably the reason Spring Ridge and the other condos along 78 gave no power has not been removed?
rr November 04, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Can we all combine forces to get jcpl out of our area? This incompetency will keep happening again. This company does not care for its customers.
MBrook November 04, 2012 at 12:50 PM
This is now beyond ridiculous. Where are these crews, what are our elected officials doing about it. Show us some improvement!
Joseph Englot November 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM
There should be a law in NJ that all power companies must have their emergency restoration plans on file for public access. They must list the priorities they place on main feeds, trunck lines, etc. through each township, giving priority to public and commercial properties, then private properties. They should be mandated to list all their emergency resources including utility workers, utility trucks, and especially the contractors they outsource emergency restoration work to. It would reveal wether they really have a "shadow" emergency work force that is over committed during widespread emergencies. Are they all outsourcing these services to the same number of limited contractors so that when a widespread emergency occurs the resources are totally inadequate for the tasks at hand? There should be a required minimum of full time emergency workers available for emergencies.
Shirley Titus November 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM
We are definitely switching from JCP&L. Our area needs a better company.
Spring Ridge Resident November 04, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Spring Ridge is still powerless?? King George Rd is still blocked?? I thought they were on it finally Saturday morning??
S November 04, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Totally agree with comments on Mr Formica. He has focused on frivolous items, wrong white color on garage doors, leaves in buffer zone, etc. Did not reply at all to all of the downed trees in buffer zone (some which have fallen onto private property of single family owners). We all need to get more involved, vote him out, and get someone in who has a broader, more responsive view of the needs of Spring Ridge Residents.
Spring Ridge 2 November 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Spring Ridge Resident I drove by yesterday morning and nothing was being done. The towns 3PM pdf update also still listed the road being blocked. I am going to go over in a few hours and check again but I am not getting my hopes up.
Amherst Mews November 04, 2012 at 01:51 PM
JCP&L sucks. Do not pay your bills.
M@C November 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Well, as a Hills resident, I am sure the rest of Bernards Twp is loving the fact that we have now joined them in "powerlessness". You never think that living in an area that has totally buried utilities could leave you without power for 5 or 6 days. Trust me, I GET that in the overall scheme of things we were lucky but really? When is someone going to rethink the infrastructure in this country? It's as if the entire country is joined by one big long extension cord. In 2012, I need to go out and buy a generator? Its about time someone in charge of this state demands some measure of accountaibilty from the utilities, whether it be gas, electric or cable. I am sure that most of us spend close to a $1,000 a month on services that are only reliable under the best conditions with no contingency plans. Everyone has the ability to poste to this page, I would rather not read about our elected Township leaders empty talk about wanting the wires out of our streets, why dont these leaders get on here and tell us what EXACTLY they are doing to get JCP&L's butt's in gear? You refer us to websites with statistics. On Friday JCP&L said there would be about 2500 customers restored in Bernards Twp. Progress at 10 PM last night was ZERO. Am I missing something here?
Shirley Titus November 04, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Do residents even have the option to switch from JCP&L to another utility company?
Shirley Titus November 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM
http://www.pseg.com/info/media/newsreleases/2012/2012-11-04.jsp - haven't seen similar updates from JCP&L.
Mandy November 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I just wish they could give us answers. They MUST have a priority list and schedule for areas. Their spread sheet with numbers is useless. And King George Road is a main drag to 78, why, after 6 days, hasn't it been touched? If JCPL had actual information online instead of arbitrary numbers you'd have a lot fewer frustrated customers.
Carol Selzer November 04, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Are voting places open today, Sunday?
b miller November 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Hind sight being what it is: wouldn't it have been great if the $760,000,000,000 (thats $760 Billion) of stimulus had been focused on, oh say, something useful like updating the national power grid instead of being squandered on "investments" like non-defunct solar power manufacturers. Fellow citizens, make your vote count on Tuesday. Think about the last 4 years of political grid lock and imagine what we will be facing in 2014, 2015, and 2016 if we allow status quo to be "good enough". Paraphrasing Mr. "O", "I say it ain't!"
LC November 04, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I'm with you! Nothing will stop me from voting Tuesday.
Grete Terjesen November 04, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Another Spring Ridge Resident who could not agree withmyou more. I am forced to live 70 miles from home. All my neighbors have left also. Who is making sure our community is safe? What happens if we have a community full of frozen pipes? We pay extremely high maintenance fees, and get very little for it.
Grete Terjesen November 04, 2012 at 07:03 PM
JCP&L has a sense of humor. I received an email threatening to turn off my power if I don't pay a $50.00 bill. What power? Another Spring Ridge resident
Lisa Silvershein November 05, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Are we going to be allowed to vote at the Liberty Corner firehouse? I can't possibly drive to Somerville to hand deliver a mail in ballot.

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