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Verona Mayor Dissatisfied with PSE&G Response

Sapienza dissatisfied with lack of communication from utility company after Hurricane Sandy.

Verona Township officials, police, fire, rescue squad and volunteers have been working tirelessly to get the town back on the grid, but officials say PSE&G may not be doing all it can to help them.

On Friday, Nov. 2, four days after Hurricane Sandy, about 70 percent of the town was still without power, according to Verona Office of Emergency Management Director Jeff Hayes.

“We are well ahead of other towns in terms of restoration,” said Hayes. “There are still wires on the street and we don't know if they are live. Whether its live or not, it’s live until someone tells us its dead.”

In one instance PSE&G came in and “reluctantly” told them a primary wire was dead, said Hayes. When the wire was confirmed dead, the town was able to remove the fallen tree and restore power to that particular street.

“That's what it comes down to,” said Hayes. “We are negotiating repairs with the power company and that shouldn't be. They should come in, fix the problem and move on.” 

Verona Mayor Frank Sapienza said he has spoken with a PSE&G executive vice president to let them know the township is dissatisfied with their service.

“I told them that the communication has been terrible and that needs to change,” said Sapienza. “He and his subordinates contacted me and I noticed six PSE&G trucks running around the neighborhood shortly after.”

“There is hope,” said Sapienza. “I apologize there has not been more action from PSE&G. We are working hard, so please be safe until the power comes back on.”

“PSE&G is in town working, and as of this morning pockets of town are coming back online,” said Verona Deputy Mayor Bob Manley Friday morning.

Below is a sampling of what readers are saying on Verona-Cedar Grove Patch. 

  • Michael J Petillo: At 3:00pm today, I took a COMPLETE tour of Verona which is STILL without power.
    NOT ONE PSE&G TRUCK IN THE ENTIRE TOWN!
    I realize there area lot of troubled areas but not even ONE truck? You'd think they would have 1 or 2 trucks working from just a PR standpoint to give people hope that progress was being made. What about the Governor's edict of getting power to EVERYONE the #1 prority...
  • Jill Corrigan: I have to disagree with Mr. Petillo. I had to make several runs up and down Lakeside Ave. yesterday late afternoon, and saw large PSEG trucks working away each and every time.
  • Gm: In the cold and dark w/o power, I don't feel like PSE&G has me covered.

To read additional comments or add your own, please visit Verona.patch.com.

P Marchetti November 03, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Becoming extremely disappointed in the way Verona is handling there power outages, Cedar Groves mayor seems to have everything under control for his town, i do see the mayor of verona had no problem getting power to his block. For the people that were lucky enough to have there power return in Verona, it seems to be that they all border other towns and are on a different grid. EPIC FAIL VERONA Saturday, Nov 3rd
Just me November 04, 2012 at 03:01 AM
No power or heat here on Linden. So disappointing! Trying to keep our kids, including a baby warm. Why is it taking forever for Verona's power to get restored!!!!!!!
Jersey Joe November 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM
New PSEG estimate for Verona is Tuesday, November 6th... Thanks town of Verona... Ugh
Tom Walker November 04, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I have been all over town since the day after the storm, and I only saw one PSEG truck. Wonder if we'll get their attention if we organize a 'Boycott Paying PSEG' town wide. When a few thousand people refuse to pay them and make it public, you'll see a reaction. They are clearly on their own priority schedule, and we're not on it. Folks, let's him them in their pocket book.
Jersey Joe November 05, 2012 at 04:16 AM
So I witnessed a couple trucks working on a pole near FN Brown School and 30 minutes later half of Verona lights up like the Fourth of July... It is an outrage of what little time was needed to get a very large percentage of power restored to the town... From what I could tell this small fix brought power to Woodland east to Bloomfield and Pompton south to Fairview. I am still appalled at what little the town did to help its residents, besides the outstanding performance by VPD, DPW and volunteer Fire and EMS... And I am really interested to see how school is tomorrow... Please hold your elected officials accountable and voice your opinion of how they handled the storm...

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