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Sandy 'Destruction Seems Never Ending,' Mayor Says

Schools have two-hour delay Thursday following nor'easter as Parsippany continues to cope with damage caused by last week's tropical storm.

After missing eight straight days of school, Parsippany students will have to wait a little longer Thursday morning before returning to the classroom.

Wednesday night's nor'easter caused a two-hour delayed opening for all Parsippany schools on Thursday.

Schools had been closed the past two weeks in the aftermath of Sandy, which caused widespread outages to thousands, downed trees and power lines and damaged structures.

"As I assess each section of our town, the destruction seems never ending," Mayor James Barberio said in a statement.

"I know many residents have been, and continue to be, challenged with trees covering our roadways, days without power and long gas lines, but I couldn’t be prouder than to be the Mayor of town whose residents, businesses, volunteer organizations, first responders and employees coordinated efforts to help rebuild our infrastructure and spirit."

Parsippany has opened warming/charging centers as well as a temporary 24/7 shelter setup at Lake Hiawatha and Parsippany high schools, the statement said. Once power was restored to the Parsippany Community Center, 24/7 shelter operations were transferred to the center where resources could be better managed, the statement said.

Nearly 1,500 residents have visited the township’s warming/charging centers and up to 19 residents per night have sought overnight accommodations at the township’s shelter, according to the statement.

“Residents want to believe that JCP&L is putting forth their best effort; however, the lack of communication greatly impedes their perception of progress,” Barberio said.

The mayor said that only recently has JCP&L provided current work location and approximate time of completion. Barberio said better communication would have alleviated some of the confusion and frustration residents have experienced.

According to Barberio, 17,000 homes and businesses have had their power restored. However, more than 3,000 township customers remained in the dark on Wednesday.

Barberio also said Halloween celebrations should be moved to Saturday, Nov. 10.

"I know that celebrating Halloween may not be a priority to many of you right now given the fact that so many are still experiencing power outages," the mayor said.

"But it is in times like these that we cannot forget our children. They have been hurting also and this is one holiday that they look forward to," he said.

g November 08, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Communication is the key word all right!!!!!...called Town Hall and the police dept to ask if there was any way that crucial information could be communicated to residents' cell phone...we were told "Just check the internet"...HELLO!!! we had NO POWER...guess they couldn't figure this out... Since these storms are beoming more frequent..we have to have a way of communicating safety information to the citizens...
NJB November 09, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Dear JCP&L - I appreciate your efforts to work through the effects of these storms. Really. I would like to thank the employees who have worked extensive hours and the teams who have come from other states to help restore power across the state. You have left your families to work for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. However, please know that we don't really know how power gets from the transmission lines to the wire that goes to our houses - we trust that it just does. It is difficult to understand that you are assessing, repairing and restoring - if we don't see your truck at the site of downed wires. Or that you understand it's been 11 days since we have had power and heat. It's difficult to to be understanding when the restoration plan changes without any information as to what has caused yet another delay in service and there is no one to answer that question because when we call - we - those who are still affected - don't get to speak to a person. My family is lucky - a tree did not fall on our house, the water did not wash it and all our possessions away. We have gotten to know our neighbors by sharing resources and checking in with one another. But it is chilly. And it is stressful wondering when you will be able to return to 'normal'.
NHM November 09, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Thank you both G and NJB. You have said it all. Although we may not always say it, we do appreciate the hard working people who are doing their best to restore our power. My anger is with the lack of communication. An out of state relative checked the JCP&L and Parsippany websites. There is NOTHING on the JCP&L one and Parsippany simply said to stay off the roads - very helpful. With our power restored I've read on PATCH that Parsippany had shelters and warming/charging stations. How would we have known that? How would we have gotten there? We got more information from our mailman when service resumed, but he comes from Denville. It would have been nice to know about open gas stations too. In the very near future: JCP&L must work on underground power lines and both they and Parsippany must work on methods of communication.

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