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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 , 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.

Safety Tips

  • 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.

Town Preparedness

  • 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.

Gerald Barrett November 09, 2012 at 12:02 AM
They should not be running a unility company.
R November 09, 2012 at 12:05 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about all the problems over there in Hopatcong. I live in Jefferson. We were updated at least 2 times a day everyday through Emails, text messages and phone calls. I can say I'm proud of the way my town handled the problem. I was without power for 8 days, but was updated everyday to what progress was being made. I'm glad to have the leadership in my town that we did. After reading this story it's time for your mayor to step down. 10 days and now she is looking into a facebook page? She's not the brightest!
genesko November 09, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Can someone please get the trees OFF the lines on Monroe??? There is power from the center of town out on the line but of course stops at the tree. 10 days and the tree is still hanging there on the wires. everyone past the down tree has nothing. this is stupidity. get the trees OFF the LINES at least!
Mick2b November 09, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Maybe the mayor should verify the numbers by getting in Mini-Van 1 and driving through the town around 7 pm. No lights, no service.
Mick2b November 09, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Dont think I didn't try. These folks are so nice. They are blown away that they were just sitting there when I talked about our town.
Mick2b November 09, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I really hope this is an attempt at humor, wrong time and place for it, but I dohope this is for humor.
Mick2b November 09, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Bronson - I'll ask the guys when I see them tonight. They did mention they are very limited in the functions they are allowed to perform due to liability issues. They mentioned there can be some union barriers at times but these guys said they are always able to work around those. They are not being turned away, they are just not being assigned work.
Mick2b November 09, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Gerald, if it has power, I might just buy it from you. :). I hope the sarcasm came through in my post.
Alan J November 09, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Rich Smith, If she was such a "town leader",we would have our power back ! A leader steps foward and takes control, she does nothing. She has the power to use, maybe she dont know how...She should step down as mayor and let someone else take over, who has the balls to make a difference for ALL of us that live in this town, one who is not lazy, when it comes to the peoples welfare...
Crazy_Diamond November 09, 2012 at 02:59 AM
starting to lose my patience....where is the updates.....moving onto 11 days now....COME ON MAN!!!!!
Claudia Ormrod November 09, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Got to say that I'm extremely disappointed in the Hopatcong Leadership (or lack thereof). We should have been "empowered" days ago. Sylvia Petillo should be ashamed at her lack of performance and her entire team's lack of peformance. You didn't know JCP&L was distorting the numbers??? Try getting in your car and driving down Maxim Drive...you won't be able to...it's now closed off and the Hopatcong finest are giving out tickets! It's been 11 days!!! Where have you been and why haven't you taken care of this issue LONG AGO???? Shame, shame, shame!
Crazy_Diamond November 09, 2012 at 03:09 AM
JCPL web site says not a damn thing for updates......streets are looking better but WHERE IS THE POWER.....oh please jcpl give me my power back....i feel like I've lost two weeks of my life
Crazy_Diamond November 09, 2012 at 03:10 AM
COME ON PETILLO......WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????????????
Crazy_Diamond November 09, 2012 at 03:17 AM
so whats the story with the HS being a regional Red Cross Shelter.....does that mean delays for our kids getting back to school due to other towns not having power? I hope not!!!!!! Does the town benefit from this in any way?
Baja2005 November 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Hey maybe she'll let us all take a nice hot shower and make us some coffee. I bring the donuts.
Crazy_Diamond November 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
ON A ROLL.....YEAH BABY!!!
Baja2005 November 09, 2012 at 03:25 AM
R - maybe you can send the folks that handled your issues in Jefferson over to Hopatcong and show the mayor and her staff how things should be handled.
tliberty November 09, 2012 at 03:29 AM
The handout update they gave out stated the water was fixed in the gardens it is not...... All they did to fix the problem was to turn off our "effen water "
djt November 09, 2012 at 02:10 PM
As a resident of this town for forty plus years, I am not surprised that we are, as usual, one of the last ares to receive the attention of utilitiy companies when power outages occur. Granted, a unique set of events led to immense wind damage affecting this region, but there is still no acceptable excuse, for the number of homes still without any services. If, as Mayor Petillo suggests, the power companies have misinformed, or published false numbers, than they should be held accountable. The outside plant in this town is outdated, many transformers are undersized, and it takes very little for us to lose power, regardlesss of the storm strength. This is an emergency, the health and safety of our fellow residents is compromised, and talk of increased communication is not the answer. I firmly believe that economics governs many of the decisions that JCPL, and other utilities make makes regarding service restoration priorities. A predominance of residential homes, limited amount of business customers, as well as an antiquated, high maintenance infrastructure are contributing factors to the delays. The workers are faced with enormous problems, but they are professionals and I have great confidence in their ability to get the job done.
lakescape November 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Hey mayor, take a walk around the shore line. The sewage and garbage abound. Oh and by the way that huge generator on your property is not hopstcongs is it.dont lie because i know. Also who is paying to run it.this town is in a shambles and so is your political career!
Thanks, perry mason November 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Sorry, poor people, jcpl has better things to do. Like hook up power to houses with larger electric bills.
Stevie November 10, 2012 at 02:29 PM
In this article (dated 11/7) the Mayor blamed JCP&L for giving inaccurate information. But I don’t see how she’s done any better. For five days following the storm, the Hopatcong public web site had ZERO information about how basic critical resources were being made available (i.e. ice for perishables, garbage pickup, etc.). And even that wasn’t complete or accurate. Even after promising “better communication,” Mayor Petillo waited another day (11/8) before posting an “update” to the Boro’s web site which consisted of what has been discussed by others at this web site. The latest update, as of yesterday, is the first public notice (about recycling center and excess household waste disposal), ten days following the storm. Apparently, the household waste disposal company is not making regular pickups, even though DPW says they are (I called them on the phone and asked). Also, there’s no mention of availability of drinking water (for people with non-functioning wells), and (packaged) ice is only when the county delivers it? There was no ice here for residents as of two days after the storm. Why wasn’t the Mayor on the phone with the county to get residents the Boro’s share of whatever was being distributed? But now the Boro web site says the next “update” will be on 11/12 (skipping two days). Mayor Petillo stated in this article that she would provide “daily” updates. Where? How much precious laptop power must we consume to find any of them?
Simply Wondering November 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM
The mayor needs to get on the phone and start calling her upper management... JCPL are doin the best they can- linemen just take direction from their bosses... Lets give the linemen some love- focus on administration...
Lurky Loo November 11, 2012 at 01:27 AM
The shelter has BED BUGS!! You can forget it opening on Monday.
Inthedarkstill November 11, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Bed Bugs is a serious allegation, has this been confirmed? They could easily hitch a ride home with a student and impact the entire community!! I would hope they are not trying to cover this up and keep it from everyone we have a right to know..
Kelly November 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I have looked for days and still not seen a Facebook page.
Kelly November 11, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I have not seen a Facebook pages or daily anything from the Mayor.. No information is given. Our town is small enough to get infomation to everyone.
Jennifer Goldenberg November 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I have heard nothing about bed bugs but that is the reason all donations need to be new
Stevie November 11, 2012 at 09:37 PM
While Mayor Petillo abandoned us (again), there is NO ice or drinking water available at Fire House #3. Also, I’m not sure if many people realize it, but the water tank (filled from the fire hydrant) at the corner of the fire house driveway is NON-potable water. It appears Sussex County delivered a pickup truck-full of packaged ice ONCE, but there is no more. I asked at the fire house and was directed to the Dunkin Donuts across the street who was giving away bottles of drinking water and giving out crushed ice from their icemaker in the kitchen. Obviously, you can’t fill a large cooler without wiping out their only supply for regular business. At Shoprite in Succasunna today, they are givng out ONE $5 gift card for ice and/or water from JCP&L. But it’s ONE card per household and not renewable. There are many of us still without power for almost 12 days, who have lost everything in their refrigerator and freezer, and need ice to keep whatever we have left. Perhaps if the Mayor, or one of the Councilmen, who haven’t done a single thing to help residents with these critical details (i.e. “emergency management”) could stop being selfish for a minute or two, pick up the phone, and call either the county, state, or Federal emergency management resource to ensure that Hopatcong Boro receives it’s share of these resources that are being distributed in the counties and states around us. Thanks in advance, and I’m sure we’ll remember you at election time.
Frazure November 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Neil Piro is Facilities Director for the district. He is supplied with and authorized to use a school owned vehicle.

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