Booker: Don't Use Stoves for Heating, Prepare for Second Storm and Other Vital Info
Only seven voting locations down, school resumes Wednesday
During a press conference Monday afternoon from the city’s emergency management headquarters on Clinton Avenue, Mayor Cory Booker and other officials issued advisories on a number of issues, including Election Day voting Tuesday and preparations being made ahead of yet another storm due to hit the area Wednesday into Thursday.
- Another storm Wednesday into Thursday: A nor’easter that may bring wind gusts as high as 40 mph is expected to hit the area later this week. Booker stressed that this storm will not be nearly as bad as Sandy, but may still cause problems since Newark is still in the midst of recovering from Sandy. Booker, stating that proactive steps are being taken to minimize the impact from a second storm, nonetheless warned residents there may be additional power outages even in areas that have been restored. He urged all residents to stock up on batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food and other storm essentials even if you have power now.
- Power restoration: About 55,000 city residents remained without power Monday afternoon, Booker said, adding that PSEG is working to get everyone back on as soon as possible and that numerous crews, including from out of state, are working within the city. Booker also said rumors that some wards had received priority over other wards were false. “PSEG has done what they told me they were going to do....we still have a long road to go before complete restoration of power.”
- School reopening: The district will reopen school Wednesday, Nov. 7, although as of Monday afternoon, approximately a dozen buildings remained without power, Superintendent Cami Anderson said. She added that if necessary, students who attend schools without power will be sent to schools with power on Wednesday. She also said a final decision on re-assigning students will not be made until 3 pm Tuesday, Nov. 6.
- Voting: Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin said that of 108 polling places in the city, seven are down, but alternate voting locations have been established for those seven sites. To find out where you should vote, text your street address, with city, state and zip code, to 877877 or visit the clerk’s web site here. Voters who are being sent to alternate polling places can also report to their normal polling place, where they will be told where they should go to vote.
- The dangers of home heating: In the strongest terms, Booker urged residents who are without power and cold to not attempt heating their homes with stoves or other unsafe methods. Two women died last week from carbon monoxide fumes emitted by a generator improperly placed near a residence, and in the North Ward, gas fumes apparently touched off a large explosion at an apartment complex (no one was injured). The city can deliver blankets, hot meals or other necessities directly to homes by calling the city’s non-emergency number, 973-733-4311. The city’s shelter at 211 W. Kinney St. remains open as well.
- If you smell gas: Booker said this should be considered an emergency situation and residents should call 9-1-1- immediately.
- Serious medical conditions, including running out of vital medicine or being unable to power up respirators: Call 9-1-1 immediately.
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency): The disaster relief agency is expected to set up locations within the city of Newark in the coming days, Booker said. He also urged people who have suffered property loss or damaged property to call the agency at 800-621-3362 and register; callers will receive a nine-digit registration number which should be kept in a secure place for future reference, Booker said.
- Downed wires: Residents are advised that these can be extremely dangerous. To report a downed wire, pole or tree, or an outage, call PSEG at 1-800-436-7734. The utility is logging every call and is addressing problems as quickly as resources allow.
- To help Newark residents: Non-perishable food (food in cans, for example), blankets, clothing and other household items are needed, and are being collected at New Hope Baptist Church, 106 Sussex Ave. To offer to volunteer, call 973-733-4311.