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Parts of Westfield Seeing Power Restored; Polling Changes Create Voter Confusion

Superstorm Sandy still wreaking havoc more than a week later.

While it has been a long eight days for Westfielders, thousands of whom have been, and still are, without power, some are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel-literally.

Power was restored to both buildings of the Westfield Senior Housing Center on Boynton Avenue as of 9 p.m Monday evening. Residents on Sunset Avenue report that power was restored last night as well. First Street and Scotch Plains Avenue residents have also gotten their power back. 

Though Mayor Andy Skibitsky, in his latest update, asked residents to continue to have patience, that request is wearing thin with those who woke to temperatures as low at 32 degrees in their homes this morning.

Residents on the corner of Pearl and Boynton and those near Tremont and Euclid Avenue, who are still without heat and electricity, report trees have remained untouched since Sandy blew through town on Monday, Oct. 29.

Westfield resident Gary McCready created an interactive map that allows users to enter information about power outages and road closures. To view it and add your street closure or outage, click here.

Another source of frustration Westfielders are experiencing this morning comes from the change in polling locations. 

The Town of Westfield announced yesterday that Westfield residents who normally vote at Wilson School (Ward 2, Districts 4 & 5), will now vote at Franklin School. 

Those who normally vote at Washington School (Ward 2, Districts 2, 3 & 6), will vote at Roosevelt School.

However, signs were not posted on either building at 6 a.m. when polls opened, leaving voters confused. 

If you are unsure where to vote, find your polling place by texting the word, "Where" to 877877.

The New Jersey Department of State has issued a directive to county elections officials to permit registered voters who don’t vote at a polling place to vote electronically. The directive is intended to assist displaced first responders who are unable to vote at their regular location.

To vote electronically, voters may submit a mail-in ballot application either by e-mail or fax to their county clerk (by 5 p.m. on Election Day). Once an application is approved, the clerk will electronically send a ballot to the voter by either fax or e-mail in accordance with the voter’s preference. Voters must return their electronic ballot – by fax or email – no later than November 6, 2012, at 8 p.m.

Voters can download a mail-in ballot application by clicking HERE.

For more information or visit http://www.njvoterinfo.org/ or call 1-877-NJVOTER.

Westfield public schools remain closed today. A decision will be made on or before 8 p.m. this evening regarding tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Brian November 06, 2012 at 04:39 PM
We have to get our kids back to school. They are missing too much time which will only make it harder for them and the teachers to catch up. Open the schools Wednesday!!!
K R November 06, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Harrow and Oxford have also remained untouched with wires hanging in the middle of the street.
Susan Chorost November 06, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I was at my home on Boynton near PeArl this morning and a crew from out of state was there already working( then PSEG guys arrived. They promised they wouldn't leave until power was restored - yea!! - but if its not done before the nor'easter hits, they'll have to stop . So here's hoping they'll finish tonight.
Mike November 06, 2012 at 05:44 PM
They are working on Boynton and Pearl finally.
SSS November 06, 2012 at 05:55 PM
SSS Tried to add my location to the google map but couldn't figure it out East Dudley between Elm and Prospect is still out despite my neighbors 2 houses down having power. There is also a power line down in the middle of the Dudley Prospect intersection that makes it difficult for any kid to get to either Franklin or Roosevelt depending on the direction I'm sure that there are a number of voters stepping over it
TB9 November 06, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Very difficult on families with two working parents. Town needs to come through here and also recognize that not everyone in Westfield has a nanny and a housewife.
sagrosso November 06, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I understand everyones frustration regarding schools, but have you seen the sidewalks to and from schools? For example, Grove Street a major "hub" for kids to walk to and from EIS, the sidewalks are impassable and extremely dangerous. Kids need to get back to school and feel a sense of normalcy again, but the safety should be the upmost importance.
Theo Gude Truch November 06, 2012 at 07:58 PM
No school until roads are clear, wires are moved, and everyone has a night of sleeping in warmth!!!
E Liz November 06, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Impassable? I ran down Grove Street this morning - the entire length. The sidewalks are fine - same as they always are this time of year, some leaves/sticks ... hardly "impassable".
sagrosso November 06, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Correction- parts are impassable....I guess YOUR nice and warm in your cozy house @E Liz. How about Central Ave? Rahway Ave? Did you run down those streets too?
Shaun Cherewich November 06, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Delaware Street needs power!!!!??
Theo Gude Truch November 06, 2012 at 09:21 PM
As does pearl street!!!!
Mike November 07, 2012 at 12:59 AM
The PSEG workers at Pearl and Boynton said they were staying until power was restored. They said it should doneby tonight or early morning. Crews are now gone and Nor'easter is headed for tomorrow am. If they don't work now (while the weather is still good), there is no chance of having power for days. So disappointed that they are gone.
Dimitrios Marmarou November 07, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Wouldn't it make more sense to end this antiquated form of transmitting power via power lines that get knocked down every time there is a storm. Why aren't we transferring electricity underground like most modern neighborhoods? Questions that need to be answered In the near future.
E Liz November 07, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Not warm in my house yet - I went running to get some heat in my body! Central Ave sidewalks are fine North of Sycamore (south of that the sidewalks are either non existent and/or is such disrepair it doesn't matter anyway). Rahway Ave is good near Edison School - one tree uprooted and a sidewalk square up with it on the next block. Not bad.
E Liz November 07, 2012 at 03:24 PM
By the way, if you think middle schoolers are not smart enough to walk over or around some branches and/or too precious to do so, I fear for them, as they are only young teenagers and will surely face a similar storm or other natural disaster disaster during the next 70 or so years of their lives. Overcoming adversity builds character. Coddling builds a**holes. I agree the schools need power and heat, but let them walk over some sticks!
sagrosso November 07, 2012 at 06:44 PM
@E Liz- I guess the BOE and the Police Department agree with me that the roads are hazardous too. On your run, make sure to watch out for the hanging pole from the wire on the corner of Summit and Grove. As for Rahway, the road is still closed near the HS. I guess you don't run the entire length of Rahway. BTW- I don't have children in either MS or HS. There is a big difference between coddling and advocating for there safety!!!

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