95% of East Hanover Still Without Power
Cell phone reception is inconsistent throughout Florham Park and East Hanover.
East Hanover Administrator Joe Tempesta said Thursday the township and Board of Education are "working in tandem" to keep the community updates.
"Cell phones are spotty, home phones are spotty because power is out. We're doing the best we can to get to people," Tempesta said. "Everything is all shaky: phone access, internet, wireless."
According to information from JCP&L, East Hanoverians could remain without power for another week.
"In East Hanover about 95 percent of the community is without power," Tempesta said.
The outage map at the First Energy website shows 4,246 customers still without power as of noon Thursday. Any customers without outages should contact JCP&L at (888) 544-4877.
East Hanover Superintendent Dr. Joseph Ricca and Tempesta recorded messages for the Honeywell alert system and other communications systems in town, but the two know they are not getting to everybody.
Ricca said between 40 and 60 people came to the shelter open at East Hanover Middle School Wednesday night, but only three stayed overnight.
"The mayor did a great job of providing food. We were able to hand out hot meals to people, we set up a DVD player so the kids could watch movies. Folks brought magazines and board games," Ricca said.
As temperatures continue to decline this week, Ricca believes more residents will stay overnight at the shelter. "We have more ability to accommodate people who want to spend the night," he said.
Overall grounds at East Hanover schools are structurally unaffected by Tropical Storm Sandy. "Our grounds have all been cleaned up, our custodial and maintenance staff has been great. From a functional standpoint the district has been gret, we just don’t have any power," Ricca said.
"We have a shelter running 24-7 at East Hanover Middle School being powered by a generator. People can go there to charge, they can go there to get warm and they can sleep there. And there's some food and water there," Tempesta said.
In addition to the middle school, the East Hanover Recreation Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. "People can come down and get warm and charge cell phones and laptops," Tempesta said.
Tempesta also asked residents to stay away from downed trees and power lines. "At any point they could be re-energized," and that could be tragic," Tempesta said.
Mayor Joseph Pannullo released his personal cell phone number for residents who need help or need to contact the authorities. He can be reached at (973) 418-5859.
"He's been going street-by-street," Tempesta said of Pannullo.