Mayor Jackson on all public schools in Montclair opening tomorrow: “To give the kids an opportunity to get their lives back to normal. It’s a small sign of normalcy, ” says Jackson. “I’m gratified that they will all be open. The bus routes are going to work. Now the big thing is getting 100% restoration [to the town]. The numbers are going in the right direction.”
Mayor Jackson (12:09 p.m.): All Public Schools in Montclair will be open tomorrow.
Linda Wanat (town clerk on polling issues)
12:04 p.m.: “A number of our machines went down within first hour but we were able to have them repaired or received new ones from the county. There is a shortage of provisional and emergency ballots, they did initially give us an excessive amount, but one of the problems is that some 300 Montclair State students who were supposed to go to Bradford and instead voted at Mt. Hebron used most of those. Good news is we were able to get another another supply of those ballots. We are seeing lines at polling places, so we are encouraged that people are voting. ”
Jackson (to a visibly upset resident of College Ave with damage to her property) “We know what you are going through. All of us have cried. We know how worried you are and we are going to help you.”
Dashield: We will have information about FEMA on [Montclair] website.
11:59: Jackson: “The conversation we had with Everton [PSE&G] was ‘the heck with backyards, put a pole in the front, take care of it. ‘”
11:50: Hurlock: “New Jersey Transit is running additional buses out of Allwood Line, Clifton.”
11:48: Resident asks about Midtown Direct service updates – Dashield says he will follow up and publish update on the website. Another resident mentioned DeCamp bus “blowing past” her spot. Mayor Jackson says DeCamp told him “they are running every bus they have.”
11:24: Warren place resident: “Tree on wire hanging in four different pieces on the road. At least 30 houses on our street without power. Worried when they talk about fixing pockets — this is not a pocket.”
11:21: Mayor Jackson says: “At this point, I just want to get your power back on. Have to look at burying these lines. We have it in the air, near all these big stately trees. It’s an issue also in Maplewood and South Orange and we are always last to get fixed because of it.”
11:19 a.m.: Resident: “[The situation] is at the point of being inhumane. I’m from corporate America. These guys are incompetent. They are honoring themselves on every call. What would you think about a class action suit against PSE&G? Not saying town should do it, but [gesturing to crowd] all of us.”
11:15 Jackson: “Main sources of power to town are being restored. Now they are working on repairing all the tentacles that come off that juice.”
11:08 a.m. Dashield: “We have to start talking about moving lines to front yards. Know it’s not popular with residents, but we can’t keep having these backyard issues.
10:54 a.m. – Town manager Marc Dashield: “Got delivery of fuel but critically low on diesel. Putting pressure to get diesel fuel. Two extra bucket crews in to deal with trees on homes to get those trees off, trying to get crane back in tomorrow.
10:49 a.m. – Mayor Jackson says businesses in Watchung Plaza seeing power restored.
PSE&G reported to Montclair council that 5500 customers in Montclair are still without power. They say 1000 customers have been restored since yesterday. The call was heard by a large group of residents, many who were understandably frustrated and yelled out questions during the call.
“I understand patience is wearing real thin, we ask that you manage [residents] expectations. It’s going to take a few more days to restore customers in backyards where we have to set up poles and transformers,” says Everton Scott, PSE&G representative for Essex and Passaic. “The work now is in backyards and it is tedious work to set poles and transformers.”
Mayor Jackson, who at the beginning of the call thanked PSE&G and Everton Scott specifically for meeting with Jackson and for the work that took place on Park Street yesterday, then asked about the work plan indicating that most customers are on the plan to be restored by Friday, what is known about the 500 that might not? by end of weekend last remaining areas. Residents yelled out during the call, asking if PSE&G knew who the 500 customers were who might be delayed.
Residents yelled out “Park Street is not fixed.”
PSE&G said the 500 customers who may be delayed in getting power restored would be in areas where there are access issues. Areas with tight conditions, certain backyards, but did not identify a specific area.
“The workforce schedule is only a guide,” Scott reiterated in this morning’s call. “How it plays out and how much work gets done depends on conditions and what we find when get to those areas.”
At beginning of the meeting, before the PSE&G conference call began, Mayor Jackson spoke briefly to crowd of residents, saying that power had been restored to Watchung, Bradford and Northeast schools and that the fire department was going to Lacordaire, where there have been reports of power being restored.
Mayor Ray McCarthy of Bloomfield got the crowd in Montclair’s second floor conference room to applaud when he scolded a PSE&G representative who said “I can’t help you” regarding areas where seniors still remain without power.
“You can’t help us? To make that statement is absolutely absurd. You should be fired tonight,” said an incensed McCarthy.
Glen Ridge Mayor Peter Hughes reported that the town has not seen trucks/crews in the area for days. “Morale is really low,” said Hughes.
Scott said to Hughes: “We’ve gotten your calls and your texts. We hear you. We will be addressing the issue.