Updated: 12:25 a.m. Wednesday
The township opened the Bauer Center to residents Tuesday night as a warming center -- a place to get in out of the cold of their homes and charge their cell phones or laptops or other batteries, but no one except the mayor, a town hall employee and two committee members showed up.
Mayor Sandra Haimoff said the township would probably open the center again on Wednesday night if the power is still out, and with 2,800 people still without power at midnight, that seemed likely.
At various times throughout the evening, Haimoff and committee members Ted Bourke and Robert Tillotson were at Bauer Center, which was open from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Haimoff and Township Business Administrator Tim Gordon said that for those who need overnight housing, the Red Cross has a regional shelter in Summit at the Summit Middle School, 272 Morris Avenue, where Millburn and Short Hills residents can go.
A Red Cross worker said the school is more of a warming station than anything, but they do have cots there if anyone needs to spend the night.
When Irene left people without water and electricity, the township was able to open the pool for showers, but that's not available in the winter, Gordon said. The Bauer Center does not have showers, so those who need a shower should go to Summit Middle School, if they do not have friends, neighbors or releatives to go to.
While the Milllburn School District was able to open the High School in the summer as a charging station, since school is now in session, they can't do that, said Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield, especially since they hope to have school by Thursday and there are optional athletic practices going on there right now.
The room being used at the Bauer center has a ping-pong table, other games and a big creen TV and some couches.
For Committee Member Ted Bourke who manned the center when it opened at 7 p.m., the warming center was a welcome break after the two hours he'd spent in his cold house. Also still without power, he's been staying in relatives but came home so hi son could attend practice.