80% Still Powerless, Communication Will Improve, Mayor Says
Sylvia Petillo plans to provide daily updates and create borough Facebook page as most remain in the dark for more than a week.
Hopatcong Mayor Sylvia Petillo said she plans on having more updates on power restoration and communicating with residents daily as the borough is now in week two without power.
Petillo is going to be sending daily updates to Patch and is in the process of creating a Hopatcong Facebook page, she said.
Petillo said as of Wednesday, about 80 percent of the town is still without power. As of 2 p.m., she said JCP&L crews are working in the area of Dupont and Lakeside Boulevard.
Petillo said that the biggest is problem is that officials have been getting inaccurate information from JCP&L.
"Unfortunately, the initial JCP&L numbers that we received were incorrect," she said. "Although we have a JCP&L representative assigned to our borough that we speak with daily, her reports have been sketchy and unreliable."
Petillo said officials are currently speaking to JCP&L crews to get current and updated information that residents need.
JCP&L had originally said that 1,900 homes were going to get power back Sunday night, but those numbers were proved inaccurate when the majority of homes remained in the dark.
Petillo said she has been on conference calls with President Barack Obama, Governor Chris Christie, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen and Senator Steve 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," she said.
Police are enforcing a borough curfew of 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday for residents 18 and under.
Petillo offered safety and preparedness tips for residents to follow as the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy continues to impact thousands:
Prepare your home
- 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.
- 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.
- Roof – If you have damage to your roof please take a photograph for insurance purposes then call your insurance company for instructions for repairs.
- We have been designated a Disaster Area. If you have any property damage to your home please call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) to file a report as soon as possible.
- When you are using alternative heat sources please take precautions. Do not use barbeque grills or generators in your garage.
- Do not drive on closed roads or around barricades.
- Please drive slowly at night due to limited sight.
- If you have a non-emergency issue call 973-810-8346
- If you have an emergency call 911
- Police will be enforcing the existing town curfew of 930pm for your safety.
- 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.
- Children under 18 need to be supervised by a parent or guardian
- If charging personal electronics, please stay with your items.
- Non-potable water is available at Fire Company # 3 and DPW
- Ice and drinking water available at the Fire Company # 3.
- Recycling center is open 7 days a week from 8am to 3pm until further notice.
The Wednesday night Hopatcong Borough Council meeting will be cancelled, according to officials. A new meeting date has not yet been rescheduled.
Officials urge reidents to prepare themselves for the impending winter storm and to come to the shelter for safety.
"As we work through the recovery process we appreciate your patience," Petillo said.
Petillo thanks all of the community's efforts throughout the days of devastation Hurricane Sandy has caused.
"We would like to thank all of our first responders who have been working diligently on behalf of our residents," she said. 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."
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
Stay with Patch as we continue to provide more updates of Sandy aftermath.