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Mayor Brings Power Company Frustrations to Governor

According to the mayor, JCP&L wouldn't provide any information about restoring power to Millburn.

For updates on this story, like the Millburn Patch on Facebook and follow us on TwitterUpdated 4:06 p.m.

As the weekend approaches and the temperature drops, Jersey Central Power and Light has left Millburn township in the dark with no answers. 

Jersey Central Power and Light restored power to the Hartshorn school and many houses along White Oak Ridge Road around 3 p.m. Haimoff said.

However, company has not responded to the township with any plan or time line after multiple calls, Mayor Sandra Haimoff said on Friday. 

JCP&L is still assessing the damages while slowly restoring power, company officials said earlier this week and that's all the township has been told since then. 

The Patch has been unable to reach any official at JCP&L for comment since Wednesday.

The mayor brought the townships' complaints to the governor's office on Friday. 

"We can't get answers that we need from JCP&L," Mayor Sandra Haimoff said Thursday morning. "I was on the governor's conference call [Wednesday] night and they are flying in trucks and crews on air force planes but they are not specific to Millburn."

Millburn residents will be able to vote in the election on Tuesday though, without having to leave town, the mayor said. The Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, 1025 South Orange Ave. in Short Hills, is the proposed location.

On a lighter note, the restaurants in the Short Hills Mall will stay open tonight for residents to get a hot meal and warm up. The Millburn Police have issued a 6 p.m. curfew for all other businesses besides those restaurants.

"More roads are opening up every minute," Caption Michael Palardy said. "If the power could come on we'd be in good shape."

Electricity aside, the other issue on residents' mind has become where to find gas for generators and cars in this prolonged period of darkness. In response to residents' requests, here's list of what stations the Patch found open around the area.

However, the New Jersey Army National Guard Armory in West Orange opened to refuel police, fire and first aid vehicles to allow townships to operate, according to Fire Chief Michael Roberts.  

"We do have some challenges ahead of us," Business Administrator Tim Gordon said.

The township worked vigorously throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday to clear roads and currently most main road are clear.

The township has turned its focus to Millburn's side streets. On Thursday, the township had five crews out removing trees and wires.

Only two of those crews are trained to remove wires and trees. These crews also have to rely on a JCP&L employee to confirm the wire is not active before the crews can remove it. 

"A crane has been brought in and trees are being removed from Mountainview and Undercliff that have fallen on houses," the mayor said. "They will then proceed through rest of town poles and lines fixed on Millburn Avenue."

The township had issues last night with the Chatham substation, which feeds Millburn, and are currently looking into it. 

"It's going to be a long and slow process," township officials said on Tuesday.

Business Administrator Tim Gordon explained the town is only responsible for township trees and clearing the roads. 

A Short Hills resident offered his expertise as a lawyer for residents' concerns about fallen trees.

JCP&L said it will revisit the 7-10 day estimate to restore power after the assessment of damage is complete. 

"The system sustained incredible damage," Ron Morano, a JCP&L official, said on Wednesday. 

The destruction far surpassed those during Tropical Storm Irene and last year's October snow storm, according to Morano.

The company has no specific time frame for each town, just the 7-10 day estimate to restore power to all its customers. It is restoring power during that process, yet the number in the dark is currently still over a million. 

According to the mayor's Twitter, JCP&L is working to fix the transformer that feeds Millburn. 

Residents will have to wait on JCP&L to return to normalcy, though.

The charging station at Town Hall has moved to Bauer Community Center in Taylor Park, open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Gero Park will also have charging station on Thursday and Friday. Charging is limited to cell phones.

Here's what's open around Millburn for residents. JCP&L is providing ice and water at the Education Center. More information to come.

Garbage and recycling collection will resume on Thursday. 

Millburn school district closed school for Thursday and Friday

Over 300 residents filled up Town Hall throughout the day on Tuesday charging phones, iPads, Kindles and computers. 

Residents should not put trees or debris at the curb because it will only make the clean up process later Gordon said.

According to the mayor, 90 percent of JCP&L's customers are out of power. In New Jersey, 2.5 million residents, 62 percent, are with out power as of 9 a.m., the Department of Energy reported. 

Resident Since 86 November 02, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Two of us just went to town hall where we found the mayor and a township committee member. Here's the bottom line: according to them, JCPL says they do not have the manpower to do two things at once: work on the substation problem AND clear the trees away from the downed wires in preparation for restoration of power. So in Gkenwood, for instance, where not a branch has been picked up since Monday, we will have to wait for the power situation to be fixed and ThEN they' will start to clean up the trees and wires. The mayor and councilman seemed helpless to go over JcpL heads to a higher authority. BTW power is back on along Whiite OakbRidge
Susan1 November 02, 2012 at 09:45 PM
If JCP&L doesn't "have the manpower to do two things at once..." Then it's time for the Mayor to escalate the situation to the Governor's office. Surely HE can get more people on the job.
C Z November 02, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I am up for it and I think we should not lose momentum when we get power back. Perhaps she was frightened with our posts to write in a candidate. I think we should definitely pursue this. What do you all think?
C Z November 02, 2012 at 09:57 PM
That is exactly the problem. Spineless administrators who have no clue that you have to rise to the occasion to get things done. That is intolerable and unacceptable. Many of us do five things at once. Let's get rid of this "garden club"!
Jim D November 02, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Thanks for going to townhall for the update . It isn't a good answer from our mayor but it is at least information. A bad job from our officials
Yan November 02, 2012 at 11:23 PM
If JCP&L don't have manpower can we remove the falling trees under professional instruction? Just let us know if you need volunteers
elsie November 02, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Thanks, Resident. Just reported that to the governor's office in hopes that he can encourage JCPL to work on more than one issue at a time. If the Mayor is not able to escalate to the Governor's office, maybe enough citizens reporting it will have the same effect.
Nina November 03, 2012 at 12:09 AM
If the SH Mall has generators, then why are they a priority to JCP&L? Why not the Glenwood neighborhood? South Mountain? Wyoming? They are going to be sleeping in the cold tonight!
C Z November 03, 2012 at 12:14 AM
NJ starting gas rationing on Sat. Odd and even license plate numbers. Will post more info when I get all the rules.
carsly November 03, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I have also emailed the governor and asked that the state and/or FEMA take control over recovery efforts in our town. Why we don't have crews working 24x7 is baffling. Why the mall was wired up before virtually all schools and homeowners is simply appalling.
millburn/shorthills November 03, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Thankful and encouraged that some areas are regaining power. However, extremely concerned about safety in those areas with trees/wires on roads and homes, it appears these fall into the category of last on the list. I personally witnessed two industrial tree teams assess a 100 year old tree on a wire over house for over an hour before leaving the area. We only hoped it was to return soon with JCPL counterparts. Neither have been seen in days. JCPL, township reps and tree teams should be working collaboratively to triage areas of safety concern. The work order of streets should be posted and transparent for all residents in community. Clearly, after two hurricanes and one ice storm, all with major long term consequences to community there is a need for a Millburn/Short hills neighborhood team to act as resident advocates in the face of crisis.
E Werth November 03, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Not happy with JCP&L's uninformative, vanilla line of "bad storm we're working round the clock." If specific equiptment failed in our area, why did it fail and why's it taking this long? Maybe there are reasonable answers but they're not giving them which makes me suspicious.
Mehul November 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM
is there anything we can do as residents of millburn/short hills to get rid of jcp&l and the current form of gov't in our town? I am absolutely tired of being short changed every time we lose power/have a weather related crisis..... Is it worthwhile to contact gov. Christie?
E Werth November 03, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I've heard and read dozens of assertions about substations being "damaged" but not a word about how. Did trees fall on them? Did wind blow them over? My sense is that PSEG tries to give real info to their customers, JCPL does not. For that reason alone, we should be lobbying for a change.
Mehul November 03, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Guys I would Like to join up to help enhance representation of millburn residents, participate in future planning for storms (shelters, warming stations, communications), even to jumpstart/see through petitions to Christie, our town council, or to Pseg to enter our area...whatever helps. I have evenings and weekends and will make stopping this nonsense my hobby. PLEASE let me know what I can do. Perhaps we can start by writing to the town council to tell them we oppose reappointment of the mayor despite the general process. I'll stand in town to get signatures or outside the temple on Tues evening. This CANNOT happen again without a fight.
Dan S November 03, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Trader Joe's, CVS and Motion Fitness has power. We live on Myrtle and half of the block from the train line down has power, but the other half of us between there and Millburn Ave have no power. So upsetting that they have power two houses away!
Jean Gerardo November 04, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I have lived in the Glenwood area for over 41 years. When I first moved in we had flooding and that was taken care of, but now it is extended outages every year and Glenwood seems to be the last to have power restored. A service truck from Ohio came onto Canterbury Lane around 1 pm today. I asked him if we were getting our power back today. I was told no. I asked if he knew when we would have power and I was told that he had "no idea". We are lucky that our homes were not completely destroyed and no one lost their life. I am greatful for this, but I don't understand why we cannot be told when power will be restored and when the "town trees" will be removed. Services in town seem to be going down and the taxes keep going up.
Jean Gerardo November 04, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I forgot to add that the people from Ohio were only assessing our street. We had to men from JCP & L assessing the downed wires last Thursday. How many people need to assess before something is done. Why can't they just get the job done.
Flimflam November 04, 2012 at 05:41 AM
I believe the assessments get fed back to headquarters (Ohio?) to generate work orders, which are in turn passed back to teams back at the site. No one can do anything without a work order.
Sandy Cane November 04, 2012 at 06:25 AM
How did Saturday's meeting go?
Red state November 04, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Where is the town forester...
Red state November 04, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Where is the town forester-why are these trees like this
Sandy Haimoff November 04, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Bauer Center open tonight until 9 for warming Library opened tomorrow from 9 until 9:30 for warming If anyone wants to go to a shelter it is at Codey Arena If you can't get there we will take you Polls for election day Dist. 1, 7, 10 Casa Columbo 119 Main St District 2 and 6 Millburn Public Library District 4 and 13 Gero Park Rec Center Dist. 8,11, 14 1n3 15 at Community Congregational Church 200 Hartshorn Dr Districts 3, 9, 5, 12 and 16 at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, 1025 South Orange Ave hours are 6:00am to 8:00pm
RH November 04, 2012 at 08:20 PM
About 11 AM on Friday Nov 2 I came across a JCP&L truck after walking north on Delwick under white tape, around a downed tree and power lines and back out under tape. In the truck I saw two JCPL employees sitting doing nothing. I asked why they were there and they said they were "guarding the downed wires" because the fuses on the power lines were still in the live posistion. Their assignment struck me as an ineffective use of two people and a truck. One person should have been at either end of the tape if the risk of a charged capacitor releasing current was great. I can also understand guarding a line just before a surge of new power is re-established but this was more than 24 hours before power was restored. Out of hundreds of downed lines the men sent were enabled to only guard this single line and not enabled to fix the problem.
Shelby November 04, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Ms. Haimoff, Have you read or seen any of the comments above? You truly should be ashamed of yourself and the way in which you have treated, or should I say, ignored, your community. Our surrounding towns have been given constant information and their leaders have been visible, informative and encouraging. No one expects you to control JCP&L or magically remove trees from streets on your own, but you would be amazed what actual communication with your residents could do. Dr. Crisfield has been far more informative, and quite frankly more compassionate, than you have. I truly hope you consider resignation and making an apology to people of Millburn & Short Hills. However, please find a forum other than Twitter, you have less than 100 followers on there. Can you even guess the population of Millburn? .
Dan S November 05, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I second Shelby's comments.
J S Beckerman November 05, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Dr. Crisfield for town council! We could use an articulate modern person. The mayor and the town council [where have the other four been hiding this past week?] have been non-entities. They love to smile and pose for The Item for ribbon cuttings and inane proclamations, but disappeared this week. Shameful conduct. I am voting for "Dr. Crisfield" as a write-in tomorrow in the town council vote.
Susan1 November 05, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Great idea, but Dr. Crisfield is ineligible. How about a serious write in candidate, like Dan Baer? If many of us vote for the same write in candidate, we could remove our ineffective "mayor" from office for good. Any suggestions? Matt Stewart perhaps?
J S Beckerman November 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM
That's a coincidence as Matt Stewart was my 2d choice. Great idea. I am sure Dan Baer would be great, but the 4-1 GOP majority [if Dan won] would aggressively stifle him. I am sold....everyone should vote for Matt Stewart.
Sandy Kane November 06, 2012 at 06:59 AM
moronic comments from ignorant people who don't know the difference between a highly paid administrator and a volunteer elected official

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