Post Hurricane Sandy Update from Hamilton Township – Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 1:00 PM
This is an updated post-Hurricane Sandy report from Hamilton Township (Mercer County, NJ) as of Wednesday, October 31st at 1:00 PM.
As township officials continue post-Hurricane Sandy recovering operations, we thank residents for continued patience and cooperation considering the severe damage this storm caused our area.
Mayor Bencivengo and Hamilton’s Office of Emergency Management strongly urge residents to continue to exercise extreme caution in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. There continues to be numerous hazards such as fallen trees, fallen /low electrical wires and power outages, all of which a danger to the motoring public.
Power Restoration Update
PSE&G has reported that Hurricane Sandy has resulted in unprecedented damage for their system and, as of this (Wednesday) morning that approximately 1/3 of open cases remain in Mercer County. As a result, PSE&G is focusing heavy crew deployment to Mercer County, and specifically in Hamilton. PSE&G has estimated this morning that as many as 10,000 – 20,000 customers could be restored in the next 48 hours in Mercer County.
Residents should be aware as PSE&G continues to reenergize areas in the attempt to return power to consumers, there is a possibility that power could potentially go out again for some homes or businesses. Several informational links and documents remain accessible on Hamilton Township’s website (www.HamiltonNJ.com) and Facebook page, which includes PSE&G updates as they become available, as well as explanations on how PSE&G restores power following outages and PSE&G water/ice distribution (areas are outside of Mercer County).
Residents should contact PSE&G directly at 1-800-436 -7734 (or PSEG) to report any outage issues.
Residents should also be aware that several areas in Hamilton are still without power, which beyond affected residents and businesses, has also impacted several traffic lights in our community. Hamilton Township’s Police Division has been manually controlling 14 critical intersections across the township, including, but not limited to, the Quakerbridge Road/Sloan Avenue intersection, Mercerville’s “Five Points” intersection, and various intersections along Route 33.
Fallen Power Lines
As PSE&G crews continue to address power restoration issues, various Hamilton Township crews continue their efforts to clear obstructions and hazards from local roads. Hamilton officials remind residents that in instances where fallen power lines exist along or tangled with trees/limbs/debris, township crews may likely need to wait until PSE&G crews either address the issue or verify that the fallen power line is not energized/“dead”. Mayor Bencivengo and Hamilton’s Office of Emergency Management remind residents to avoid fallen power lines; and that residents should assume that down lines are energized or “live.”
Halloween Postponement UPDATE – Monday, November 5th (per Governor’s Executive Order).
While Mayor John Bencivengo yesterday recommended that parents bring their children trick-or-treating on Saturday, since that time, the Governor has signed an executive order to move Halloween to Monday, November 5th. Mayor Bencivengo and Hamilton Township urges residents to conform to the Governor’s Executive Order – and conduct trick-or-treating on Monday, November 5th. As a reminder, this is a decision for the safety of our entire community, and especially our children.
Garbage/Recycling and Storm Debris
As of today (Wednesday), garbage collection has returned to service unless garbage collection trucks are unable to reach areas due to still present hazards/obstructions. Additionally, recycling collection will return on Thursday, November 1st.
Regarding storm debris, which residents are reminded is NOT collected by their garbage or recycling collection contractors, township crews are continuing to remove fallen trees and debris obstructing roads, unless power lines are present (see above explanation). Hamilton Township Fire personnel are also assisting in clearing debris, provided no power line issues. Residents are asked for their continue patience, as making road passable remains a priority at this time, but are also removing debris in this process.
Food Health Safety
In addition to health reminders regarding food spoilage that is available on Hamilton Township’s website and Facebook account, Hamilton’s Division of Health will require that every food establishment that suffered a loss of power must discard all refrigerated food items and have a Health Inspection prior to reopening for business. Business can call the HamStat Call Center at (609) 586-0311 so that Hamilton’s Division of Health can schedule their Health Inspection time.
Structural Damage and Electrical Issues
Any resident or business requesting an assessment of structural damage or potential electrical issue can contact the HamStat Call Center at (609) 586-0311.
Township Facility Closures, Openings
Some Township facilities remain without power and closed at the time of this news update. As facilities regain power, check the Township website or Facebook for the information. The Hamilton Township Public Library currently has power and is open (Wednesday, October 31st).
Assessments of Damage
Although Mercer County was not listed in the original Federal Disaster Area Declaration, township officials are assessing both increased government recovery costs and public facility damages for the possible reimbursement of some extra government costs in responding to Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, documentation collected by Township officials will be provided to assist for the possibility of individual assistance for residents (which must be determined by FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Again, at this time, federal assistance has not been designated for Mercer County (and Hamilton Township).