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Mayor Skibitsky Update: Friday, Nov. 9

If your neighbors have had their power restored and you are still out, please call customer service at 1 800-436-7734.

Dear Neighbor:

Obviously the number one issue in Town continues to be full power restoration to all our residents and businesses. Since before the storm hit, I have been in frequent contact with our County and State officials, the Governor’s Office, and PSE&G to voice our collective concerns about the restoration efforts and to receive as accurate an update as possible about the progress being made.  Please be assured that I will continue to advocate on your behalf until power is fully restored to everyone, every street is cleared, and we can, as a community, return to normalcy.

The latest from PSE&G is that as of today, Friday, November 9, 95% of the outages in Westfield were resolved, up from 86% the day before.  According to information provided by PSE&G as of 4:00 p.m. today:

  • They expect most Westfield residences affected by Hurricane Sandy to have their power by midnight tonight. There may be some customers whose restoration will extend into the weekend, depending on the amount of repairs that need to be done in individual neighborhoods.
  • Most of the remaining outages result from localized issues that were not corrected when a system or circuit outage was restored.
  • IMPORTANT: If your neighbors have had their power restored and you are still out, please call customer service at 1 800-436-7734. If our automated system indicates that power has been restored to your area and you have no power, please follow the prompts to place a new “no power” order. If the system states that your order already is registered, there is no need to place a new one. Unless customers call to report an outage, PSE&G may not know that there is still an issue at a particular location.

Halloween, Saturday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
As you know, Halloween trick or treating was postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy due to safety concerns.  Many parents have expressed their (and their children’s) desire to reschedule Halloween.  Others have reported that they have already conducted a “mini” trick or treat event on their own block.  Still, others have reported that they have already consumed their supply of candy during the very trying days after the hurricane!
In order to give those who have not “trick or treated” an opportunity to do so, I am recommending that the adult residents of each neighborhood block decide amongst themselves whether to conduct Halloween trick or treat activities on Saturday, November 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  I understand that some residents may no longer have a supply of candy on hand and may not wish to participate.  However, neighbors can address this on a block by block basis.  I also recommend that children be supervised if your block chooses to participate and that all activities happen during daylight hours.
Thank you for your patience and I hope the children have an opportunity to participate and enjoy trick or treating!

Please take note of the following:

  • URGENTPlease do not go near any downed wires. Assume every wire is a live wire.
  • URGENT:  The Fire Department issued the following warnings: Do not run any type of fuel-powered equipment inside of your home or in any enclosed space such as a garage, even if the garage door is open.  This includes generators, gas grills, charcoal grills and portable fire places.  All equipment should be at least 15 feet from your home. Running fuel powered equipment in or too close to an enclosed structure, including a garage with its door open, can lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.  Make sure all candles and all fires inside an approved wood burning stove or fireplace are attended to at all times.
  • The Town is in the process conducting a one-time town wide curbside cleanup of storm related branches and twigs.  This does not include private trees removed by private tree contractors. Private tree contractors should dispose of the tree remnants as they normally do. The remnants should not be placed in the street.
  • The Conservation Center is open Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Extended Hours at Westfield Memorial Library - The Westfield Memorial Library will be open until midnight tonight to serve as a warming center. WiFi has been enabled and charging stations are available. There will be no check out of books/media during extended hours, but books are available for your use while at the Library. The Library will be open on Saturday, November 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Library was originally scheduled to be closed on Sunday and Monday, Veterans Day, but will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Westfield Sandy Relief Fund - In the true Westfield spirit of care and giving, I am proud to announce that Town of Westfield is partnering with the Westfield United Fund to help the families who have been most severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. As a result of this historic storm, 13 homes in Westfield sustained serious damage, rendering them uninhabitable. 53 other homes sustained damage that will require extensive repairs. A “Westfield Sandy Relief Fund" has been set up to help our neighbors and friends who suffered extensive damages. To donate to the Hurricane Sandy Westfield Relief Fund, make checks payable to the Westfield United Fund, with "Sandy Relief" on the memo line and mail to: The Westfield United Fund, 301 North Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090.  For further information, call the Westfield United Way at 908-233-2113.
  • The County is operating a 24/7 shelter (with food and cots) until further notice.  The shelter is located at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue, Cranford.  The contact number is 908-709-7283, ext. 2. The shelter is pet friendly.
Westfield guy November 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM
First off, I think the mayor and board of Ed, etc have done a great job over the last 2 weeks in difficult circumstances. On another point, any parent that is still concerned about Halloween is an embarrassing excuse for a human being in light of the destruction and damage caused to the tri state area from this storm.
Shaun Cherewich November 10, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Mayor Skibitski. Shaun Cherewich here. My neighbor at 214 Delaware Street still does not have power because a tree fell on lines going to his house. He and I have called PSEG each day and they say it will be fixed but never is. The family has just moved into Westfield and I have extolled its greatness. Could you see if you could find out what the delay is for this family. Thank you. Shaun
Patchmein November 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Mr. Mayor, while you're at it, perhaps you could "pressure" them to restore power around the corner from your house on Grandview Ave. The entire block between Pine and Sycamore is still without power. We were promised restoration by 11 PM last night, and a call to PSEG at midnight supposedly yielded a work order for them to be here at 8 am today. Neither have materialized.
Julie November 11, 2012 at 04:17 AM
I'm personally not that concerned about the holiday, but my kids were still disappointed that Halloween was spent in a cold, powerless house. So while it will be a pain for me to make sure I have candy in the house and to get the kids out, I'm willing to do it to let them wear their costumes that they put a lot of work into and were excited about wearing. Yes there was horrible destruction all over the area, but I think calling people an "embarrassing excuse for a human being" is a bit harsh. Our suffering wasn't on par with many others, but kids don't deal with even the small disruptions as well as adults do, so I like the chance to give them back an event in the year that they look forward to and thought they'd lost.
Lanre November 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
It is honestly a joke that some parents and our mayor still give a damn about Halloween. Just cancel it. What's the point of having it so late?
Time For Change November 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
@Julie: Life is chock full of disappointments, from that first love lost, the 'B' instead of an 'A' on your school test, the passing of a parent or spouse and the thousands more in between. Missing one Halloween followed by a parent/child explanation of what people just went through will be a lesson that will make your children better people.
NJD November 11, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I would humbly suggest that instead of trick-or-treating, and since most kids understand that Halloween has passed and would like to do something to help victims of the Hurricane, we do a town-wide "trick-or-treat" drive and see which ward can collect the most supplies or money for hurricane victims, then deliver them to the areas hardest hit.
NJD November 11, 2012 at 07:06 PM
That way the kids can dress up in their costumes, but learn the lesson of helping others.
Mike Savad November 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM
we finally got the power back to grandview, i don't know whether it was everyone on the block who said something, or me running down the street, but they finally fixed it. seems that while the wiring looked good, the didn't do a good job or check their work. and because PSE&G doesn't have any way to monitor the houses remotely (and they really should in this day an age i mean , phones had that ability since they were invented). they only assume the area has power. which was why everyone stormed that number. on saturday i couldn't get through at all, 30 min wait times, or they hung up on me. hopefully if this happens again not only will there be more people on the road, but also manning the phones.
Julie November 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
@JG-Westfield - I am fully aware how to teach my children that disappointment comes along in life, and have had to do that many times. And if nobody in my neighborhood participates in the Halloween it won't be the end of the world for me or my kids. But I also feel that it is a very easy thing to do - I personally still have bags of candy, and if answering my door for a few hours on a Saturday and handing candy out will make some kids happy then it's no problem for me. I also like NJD's suggestion of doing a Trick or Treat drive to collect food/supplies/etc. My biggest problem with Westfield guy's post was his name calling. The whole idea of having to talk about Halloween now was because the mayor originally postponed it rather than cancelling it at the beginning. And now the decision has been made (kind of). And I as a parent am glad to know what has been decided, if anything to be ready that day should anyone show up at my door.

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