Mayor: 'We Have Experienced a Week of Many Challenges'
Chris Vergano recaps tumultuous week; commends volunteers, first responders.
Editor's note: The Mayor Chris Vergano wrote this letter to Wayne residents on Sunday, Nov. 4.
As I write to you today, over 4,100 of our families still have not had their power restored by either PSE&G or JCP&L. This is totally unacceptable to us. We can only describe the actions of both power companies as extremely disappointing. I want to personally assure you that that we have been communicating our dissatisfaction to both utility companies on a consistent basis since the restoration phase of the hurricane started.
PSE&G is now making a more concerted effort to get their Wayne customers back on line and as of this morning 80% have been restored (4,000 were restored on Saturday). We are being told that approximately 95% should be restored within the next few days. As far as JCP&L is concerned, we are being told that 51 percent of their customers have been restored. Obviously, this is not acceptable to us and I pledge that we will not stop reaching out to both companies until all of our residents have power.
We, as a community, have experienced a week of many challenges. Most of us were without power for a majority of the week. Many of us still are. The Township has recorded over 550 downed trees, many of them still having live wires in them. Our tree crews cannot remove any tree that has wires in them until the utility company has confirmed that the wires are no longer live. To date, we have been able to remove 290 trees. This process is ongoing and we will continue to have our crews on the road until the job has been finished.
I want to take this opportunity to thank and commend all of our volunteers (Wayne Fire Department, Wayne First Aid Squad, our CERT members, and the Wayne VOAD) for all of their outstanding efforts this past week. I would also like to thank those Township employees who have been working non-stop since the beginning of the Hurricane. Once again, they have proven that they are the finest workforce in the state.
The members of the Police Department have also gone non-stop since the start of the Hurricane performing in a herculean manner throughout. I ask all of you to say a prayer for Officer Robert Franco who was severely injured during the height of the Hurricane Monday night. We wish Officer Franco the best on his road to recovery and will keep him in our prayers along with firefighter John Neukum who was injured during the storm.
This has been a difficult time for all of us. I want you to know that the Township is doing everything humanely possible to return all of our lives to normal.
Mayor of Wayne