Residents Furious About Road Conditions, Lack of Power

Town says PSE&G has advised the State that it intends to have Westfield fully electrified by tonight but residents are skeptical.

Update 4:43 p.m.: Stoneleigh Park resident Donald Furrer reports that the Department of Public Works removed the tree within 30 minutes earlier this afternoon but power has yet to be restored. 

Residents on Nelson Place are still without power though neighboring streets Clark, Ludlow Pl, Cowperthwaite and Prospect have electricity.

A resident of Kimball Avenue across from Wilson school reports power has returned to only some residents, but many, including his family, remain in the dark and cold.

"The explanation that the trees need to be removed first does not apply in the area," the resident stated in an email to Patch and the Town Council. "Over the weekend, the tree services removed most if not all of the trees, and we have been patiently waiting for PSE&G to perform the next task. But PSE&G are nowhere to be found. At the corner of North Chestnut and Kimball, for example, downed wires continue to dangle within feet of Wilson school, leaving power out for many homes. The tree that knocked down the was removed days ago. There is no pole or transformer to be replaced."

He has asked why PSE&G has "not performed the obvious next follow-up step, and if they do have a plan, what is it?"

Original: Patience is becoming more scarce than power in Westfield as thousands of residents are still without heat and electricity one week after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey.

Downed trees and fallen wires litter the streets of Westfield and anxious residents are asking why PSE&G crews and the Department of Public Works can't work together to restore power as quickly as possible.

"PSEG and Town Hall are going back and forth as to who is responsible to remove the tree by Rahway and Shadowlawn," wrote Stoneleigh Park resident Donald Furrer in an email to Patch, Mayor Andy Skibitsky and members of the Town Council. "This bureaucracy has been going on for days, and it the reason for the lack of power returning to parts of Stoneleigh Park and other areas. This is the reason the road is still closed. Can someone let me know how we get this resolved? I would expect that both parties would be working in conjunction to get this resolved, not tossing the responsibility back and forth. Everyone knows what has to be done. The tree needs to be taken down, and the wires replaced. Can we please figure out a way to get this resolved?"

Third Ward Councilman David Haas responded by saying, "First of all let me assure you that the town and PSEG are working together. We sent police to escort them around town and followed with tree crews to work with them. I have sat in on several updates with PSEG in the administrators conference room. In one of them this very question was asked of the people at PSEG. They made it clear that we should not work on trees until PSEG lets us know that the power is off. They also agreed to try and get their linemen to stop giving out what they acknowledge to be wrong information.

"Throughout this process we have been frustrated that even when we have line crews in town we can't get them to check out the lines on major streets to tell us if they are live. I can only guess that the people at PSEG responsible for letting us know that we can work on the trees are not the same people as those responsible for the linemen. It took days to get East Broad checked out and then a couple more to get Lamberts Mill checked out - Central has taken another couple of days. We have been ready to move on this problem the moment the officials at PSEG tell us we can.

Please be assured that we have expressed to PSEG the urgency of the situation on Rahway. We have also told them about this information being given out and THEY HAVE AGREED WITH US THAT WE SHOULDN'T TOUCH TREES NEAR WIRES UNTIL THEY GIVE US THE GO-AHEAD."

Another Westfielder, who lives near Central and Boynton Avenues, sent a photo of a tree that has not been touched since the storm occurred. 

"This leaves all the residents between and including Central Ave. and Boynton without power. We feel as if we have been forgotten!" the resident wrote in an email to Patch. "It is very cold at night."

On its Twitter feed, the Town of Westfield wrote: "PSE&G has advised the State that it intends to have Westfield fully electrified by tonight" and then added "There will be exceptions for those with lines down on their street or leading to their homes."  

When Patch reached out to Fourth Ward Councilman Keith Loughlin to inquire about the validity of those statements, he responded, "There are currently extensive areas of town without power so I cannot speculate on when all homes will be restored."

Jeffrey Laderman, of Sunset Avenue, and his wife, lost power shortly after 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 and though they reported it immediately, there seems to be some confusion about when the outage was reported.

"Last night, there were some lights on in Wychwood but the parts of Wychwood closer to us were dark," Laderman said. "When my wife called an PSE&G hotline this morning, she got an automated message that we did not have a reported outage. She called me, almost in tears. I then called myself, and got to a real person who obviously was totally unfamiliar with New Jersey. She said there was a record of our outage, but I asked if there was an indication of when it was called in, she said she couldn't tell. I asked her about restoration and she told me Nov 10. I said, 'Is that specific to me or is that what you tell everybody?' She said, 'It could be anytime up to Nov 10.'

"This is a catastrophic event for our part of the country, but utilities are supposed to be prepared for it--especially in customer relations."

Voting Changes

The Town has announced changes to voting locations. Those who normally vote at the Wilson School (Ward 2, Districts 4 & 5), now vote at the Franklin School. If you normally vote at the Washington School (Ward 2, Districts 2, 3 & 6), you will vote at the Roosevelt School.

Schools Closed 

All Westfield public schools will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 6. The decision was based on strong recommendations made by Westfield Chief of Police David Wayman regarding the safety of students, said Board of Education president Rich Mattessich.

Backstage blumpkin November 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Still no power on boynton pearl street harrow road. Central avenue still not cleared up. I have seen more Verizon trucks than pseg. When is the towns current administration up for reelection? They should all be voted out for their incompetence and obvious priorities
RE November 06, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Dorian Road was pretty clear and passable since the day after the storm, from Lamberts Mill to Park Ave to South ave. I thought it would make sense that power would be restored right away. It's been 8 days with no power, and living without heat is hazardous to our health, especially now that the temperature is hovering around/below the freezing mark. Please please please restore power!!!!!
Christina Stanley salerno November 06, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Yes it's true we are all Lucky we survived this storm and we are also lucky to have homes to sit and freeze in but the fact of the matter is, these downed power lines should have been addressed first without argument, especially when they are lying across a block that leads to a school like ours (Pierson st). It's insane! We have three downed power poles, one of which is hanging by a thread over a street people are still allowed to use. It took me three days and 10 calls to police to even get a yellow tape to cut off our block from traffic. What's the excuse for That!? All Of our surrounding blocks had yellow tape. Why not ours? and as far as PsEG, we called to report it five times and each time they told us they didn't know about he incident. And we have a PsEG employee living on our street. Are u serious!? Some of us have small babies and it's scary to have them in the cold. some of us have elderly people living with us and this is just unacceptable and frightening to say the least. These power poles should have been addressed first. How can thy even consider opening schools when blocks like mine leading to a school are so dangerous. It's a joke.
Alaska November 06, 2012 at 02:58 AM
These guys working haven't gone home to sleep so give them a break and for those with kids send them down the shore or to staten island. Real life experience. Line worker was send to the hospital after he was hit with 12000 volts. Suck it up. O wait I pay taxes I should have power. Go help someone who lost EVERYTHING find a place to sleep or eat.
Pete November 06, 2012 at 11:52 AM
There are whole COUNTIES in South Jersey WHERE SANDY CAME INLAND with less outages than Westfield. Are you kidding me?
Sue harmer November 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Fairfield circle still out!
Enough already November 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM
A few commenters made it clear what is causing their ranting and hate-filled words against government and PSEG, they are frightened and are unsure of what lies ahead. The only words of encouragement I can offer is this will all pass in good time.
Theo Gude Truch November 06, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Still no power on corner of Boynton and Pearl ( and all surrounding streets), though they did send a tree truck to cut half of the tree! This is a nightmare!
WAG November 06, 2012 at 12:51 PM
We still don't have power on St. Georges Place off of Dorian Road.
anonymous November 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM
live on carlton road....every other street next to us has power...this is frustrating!!!
JGB November 06, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Do you know if Lawrence is restored? Thanks! :)
Enough already November 06, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I wonder if any of those complaining here are among the 10 in town who lost their entire house!
Theo Gude Truch November 06, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I wonder if the people here complaining that we are complaining have power?
dt1995 November 06, 2012 at 01:37 PM
The corner of Pearl and Boynton is a mess.. tree, power lines, telephone poles all over the road. It is a huge job and certainly pales in comparison to the devastation at the Shore and even to the poor folks in Westfield who have lost so much more than we have. The lack of power is not as frustrating as the lack of information. Since last Monday I have seen exactly one PSEG truck come down Pearl Street. It would be so comforting for PSEG to say "we see your situation on Pearl Street or Central Ave or wherever, we understand and we are working on it". I think that's all most people would need to hear so that they would know they haven't been forgotten or overlooked in this situation. Instead they release work plans that are impossible to figure out and make statements like our entire town will be "electrified" by Monday.
Flying Ace November 06, 2012 at 01:41 PM
A utility truck just arrived on Boynton/Pearl. And its not Comcast! Let's hope he stays for a while.....
Great Cook November 06, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I am on Saunders. We do not have power and our neighbors on Baker do not have power either. We have not seen anyone come by nor has any elected official provided us with any accurate and relevant information about our situation. But when election time comes around, they are at our doors smiling and asking for our vote. Can someone please provide us with accurate information and let us know when and if we expect power. Calling PSEG is worthless as they have no information. We pay our taxes and are entitled to services as every Westfield citizen. How about a refund!!
Flying Ace November 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Several trucks now and they brought poles with them. Looks like they mean business.
Enough already November 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM
We have had a generator going since power was lost.
dt1995 November 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Yay!! A truck...hope lives :)
Enough already November 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I went out a few times each day and walked around all of the streets, 6 blocks in each direction and saw what PSE&G, DPW and trucks/crews from other states were doing to get power back on. I could see the progress they were making, slow but steady, and could easily tell this mess was not going to be fixed in a few days or even a week, no matter what optimistic claims PSE&G could make.
JD November 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Thank you to the utility crews who have been risking their safety in the cold weather. Thank you to the mayor for keeping citizens updated.
sagrosso November 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Girard is still out of power and poles are still down (near Mountainside). I spoke to a friend and she said there is no work being done. In my opinion, I believe that they don't have the infrastructure to rebuild just yet (ie. waiting on poles). My power resumed yesterday around 8...it so happens our Mayor lives a street down from me. I hope all will be restored soon. This has been devastating to all of us living in NJ, especially those living on the coast. Good luck and don't forget to vote today!
Jo Anna Tomallo Wayner November 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Just got the magical power on First Street & scotch Plains near Memorial Pool!
Craig November 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Doees anybody have any power updates on northern section of Prospect? It would be greatly appreciated. :)
Bob Jones November 06, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Any update on the Boynton/Pearl situation? How about Central Ave? Anxious to return to the area.
Bobby G. November 06, 2012 at 06:37 PM
If the Boynton Ave. senior center is up and running, does that mean that PSE&G is continuing to proceed south from there?
Judith Shanosky November 06, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Amazing how the "ping" of electric coming on can give you a whole new lease on life! Just as we were leaving the house at about 9.05 am heat restored. made us so happy, even though the only one home to enjoy was the cat! Apparently, you should let the thermostat come up slowly, so that the furnace doesn't have to run, and run,and run. Ask the heating guy: he can explain better than me. From the reports this morning looks like electricity is the order of the day. Enjoy! I hope everyone gets powered up by the end of the day. VOTE!! Run.
mapbar November 07, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Union workers!! what else it could be? irresponsible and slow workers.
Judith Shanosky November 07, 2012 at 12:57 PM
No! No! No!
Bobby G. November 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Less than 1/2 hour after I voted for Obama at Jefferson Elementary School, my lights went back on! Clearly PSE&G is giving priority to the Dems in Westfield!


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