Montclair: 5500 Still Out, 1000 More Restored (All Public Schools Open Tomorrow)

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.

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  1. I’m on McDonough, just talked to a live PSEG rep at 1-800-436-PSEG. She claimed their system shows that myself and all of Christopher&Montclair Ave have had power restored for days. I told her not so. She said she would add us to their list as we all show as on.Suggest you all call & let them know. Only way to do it is to call, can’t do online.

  2. overtaxedinmontclair: I live on Clairidge Court and had a similar experience. PSEG’s records erroneously say that my power was restored. A customer rep has now re-added me to the have-nots list. I suggest others without power check via phone to make sure as well.

  3. Everton Scott says “The work now is in backyards and it is tedious work to set poles and transformers.” Well, our problem is in the FRONT yard and we are still without power. Our neighbor’s tree has been toppled over and sitting in their front yard on top of some power lines for over a week and NO ONE has done anything about it but put up some yellow tape.

  4. So PSE&G is reporting that 5500 Montclair households are still without power ? Really ??

    Because according to PSE&G’s most recent restoration schedule posted on 11/5, only 482 Montclair homes are still without power ..What is going on ??

    This is getting to be “PSE&Gregious”

  5. @Bill Courson, I am on your block and am starting to feel neglected as well. I don’t see any problems in the backyards on our block. I just hope we are not the last to get power. For me, I understand PSE&G has lots of work to do, but it is the extreme lack of communication and availability that is frustrating. I think they need a new communications department.

  6. Our street was reported as restored but only one side of the street was. Can they at least have the crew in the area check both sides of the street to make sure power is restored before loading it into a computer.

  7. Vicinity of Essex Ave and Frederick St. No power. Jus spoke to PSE&G. They claimed we were restored. If you have same experince, keep telling them.

  8. “@johnqp, that 482 is the number they forecast to be remaining after 6 days of work, not the current number out.”

    Then “PSE&Gregious” should take the damn posting down. It is utterly useless as a status update.

    It is 8 days and 5000 homes in this town are still without power – not 6 days and 482 …so much for forecasts.

  9. When this crisis has passed how about a Council-organized Task Force to look into, recommend and monitor actions to reduce our vulnerability to this kind of disaster? With clear-cut expectations for communications and follow up (i.e., with PSEG and our elected officials) so that we don’t just gradually forget about this until the next superstorm.

  10. Thank you overtaxedinmontclair and crankydave – I am in the same exact area of you and had no idea that PSE&G thought we were already restored.

    Are they even visiting our streets? This pole hasn’t been touched in 8 days:

    On Wednesday 10/31, PSE&Gs automated phone system told me that power in my area was restored, and I spoke to a rep to confirm that no it was not. Very frustrating if that same problem/discrepancy could arise again six days later.

  11. Liz, could someone there go hound NJT to find out what the hell is going on with our trains, something other than “suspended until further notice” and do a story on it???

  12. @mattb, @overtaxedinmontclair, and @crankydave. Same problem here, only worse — i got a message saying my power was restored a week ago (to Gordonhurst Ave), when it was not; i called to advise, and the PSEG rep made a note of it. My wife called again today and they still were under the impression that our power was restored. Baristanet, Mayor Jackson, can one of you please make sure that PSEG is not mis-counting the outages in town?

  13. Liz, could someone there go hound NJT to find out what the hell is going on with our trains, something other than “suspended until further notice” and do a story on it???

    We’ve reached out and not gotten a response. Still trying. Residents asked our town council to do same — and to find out why we aren’t getting extra buses like other areas without train service.

  14. If I don’t get power back by Friday and I’m not dead due to hypothermia, I’m jumping off the non functioning tracks. Kidding…maybe…

  15. “PE&G’s own outage map just went from saying we have between 5-10k out to greater than 10k out again… something’s fishy. Maybe all those people complaining that PSE&G didn’t realize they were out reported it again and the numbers are back up again.”

    You can add me to that list. Just called PSE&G and was told that my street had been “energized” two days ago. Wrong.

  16. Since so many towns are now back and towns such as Montclair as supposedly more challenging, why don’t they add additional resources to our town? Sleeping in 40 degree homes for this long is torture. It’s affecting people’s health (both physical and mental).

  17. Was also told by PSE&G automated that my power was on. When I called back, and spoke to a human, she said I was told that because AN ATTEMPT was made to restore power IN MY AREA.
    So yeah- “has been restored” could = “we tried in your neck of the woods already”.
    I’m near Watchung Plaza

  18. Liz, thanks for trying. NJT has been horrible throughout this. They have offered no information, no alternative busing like other lines are getting, just, nothing. I’m beginning to think NJT doesn’t like us.

  19. We’re not getting extra buses is that we don’t use NJT for bus service in the first place, we use DeCamp, which in the best of times seems to be maxxed out. That’s just my guess.

  20. As the power begins to go back up, we turn our weary eyes to NJT, that other area monopoly utility that has a communication / responsiveness problem.

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