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With Fuel Scarce, Officials Ask Residents to Conserve

JCP&L still estimates 7 to 10 days before power is restored, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said Wednesday.

With all gas stations out of fuel in Morristown (and throughout much of the county), officials Wednesday said now is the time to conserve what little of it people have left.

And, as tempertures continue to drop, "check on your neighbors, your family, your friends," Mayor Tim Dougherty said.

Meanwhile, the town has been in contact with JCP&L on a daily basis and has given the utility a "priority list" of roads with downed wires and extensive damage.

"Many are clear," acting Fire Chief Robert Flanagan said. But, he acknowledged, many are not.

Town Attorney Vij Pawar, also on the daily conference calls, said JCP&L officials called Sandy, "the worst [storm] in their history."

Through the adversity the town has faced, many have stepped up to the challenge. The mayor praised all departments, including police, fire and Department of Public Works, as well as the town's Community Emergency Response Team and other volunteers that have come out to help. "I cannot speak kindly enough on what these groups have done," Dougherty said.

"It really shows the character of a community," Pawar said.

And, JCP&L? " Dougherty said they continue to say power restoration could still take seven-to-10 days.

"We're putting a lot of pressure on them," he said. "They want to get the power back to the people."

Still, the mayor said the town's utility—which has faced a wall of criticism over the last several years from several events, including Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm—"will have to defend their own actions.

"I'm not going to stand here and take shots at any utility during a disaster," Dougherty said. "I'll hold my judgment until after power is restored. Now is not the time to play Monday Morning Quarterback."

Residents without power that have not yet done so also are advised to call JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877.

Until that power is restored, and until gasoline returns to area stations, Dougherty advised residents to utilize available services in addition to conserving resources.

Mennen Arena, in Morris Township, continues to be open, he said. Those who need to get there should call the town's Office of Emergency Management at 973-292-4884. Transportation to the shelter will be provided, if required. 

In addition, the Morristown Fire Department is now available on a 24-hour basis as a recharging station. The Senior Center, in Town Hall, is also open until midnight for recharging electronics and for warming. Police Capt. Steven Sarinelli said that may change to 24 hours, as well.

Dougherty said he hoped fuel deliveries would be made in the next couple days, but people need to be prepared in case they're not.

Those able to volunteer at noon Thursday are asked to meet in the lobby at Town Hall, to help pass out information fliers for those who still do not have power.

"It's pretty bad out there, like nothing I've seen since I've been alive," Dougherty said. "But, New Jersey's a tough state, we'll get through it."

Nancy Bangiola November 01, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Can you provide any information about when and where gas might be available.
Laura November 03, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Perhaps all these selfish people who ran out to buy gasoline generators just so they can have hair dryers and tv's and running them constantly so they could hog all the gas, maybe NJ wouldn't now be in a gas crisis!

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