Belleville Township Manager Kevin Esposito and other officials spoke with Patch Wednesday afternoon regarding the ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Overall, Esposito said, the township’s first responders and public works employees “have done an excellent job, as I have witnessed firsthand” in the aftermath of the storm.
Esposito and other officials also said that:
- To report a downed power line, call 800-436-7734. If you don't speak to an operator, leave a message, and bear in mind that the calls will be addressed in the order they are received.
- Approximately half the township, including town hall, has power. Over the next few days PSEG crews will be working to restore power in the remaining sections of town, but there is no precise information about when electricity will come back.
- The Belleville police and fire departments have sufficient gasoline for their needs.
- The township’s Department of Public Works have cleared all the trees they’re able to. The remaining downed trees are entangled with downed power lines and require a response from PSEG.
- Main Street flooding has largely receded and stores are open. Stores, restaurants and other businesses are open on Washington Avenue, which has power.
- Clara Maass Medical Center has power and is operating normally.
- Police Chief Joseph Rotonda is urging parents to keep children away from any possible hazards.
- Schools are definitely closed through the end of the week and may not reopen until Nov. 7, school board president Peter Zangari said.
- The township is offering a heated shelter at the Knights of Columbus, at the corner of Belleville Avenue and Bridge Street, Wednesday night and Thursday night. Shelters will be open by 5 pm, Esposito said.
- Trash pickup resumes tomorrow, recycling next week.
- The senior center at Mill Street and Franklin Avenue is closed and all senior events are cancelled.
Blocked or closed streets as of 3 pm Wednesday:
As of Wednesday afternoon, the following streets or intersections were closed to vehicular traffic for downed trees and power lines: Belleville Avenue and Willard Street; motorists traveling north on Willard will be redirected to the west. Franklin Avenue from Clara Maass Hospital to the Newark line is closed. At the intersection of Franklin and Belleville avenues, all motorists are being forced to make right turns regardless of the direction they approach from, Esposito said.
A small section of Washington Avenue is closed between King and Hancox. Mill Street between Union and Franklin avenues is closed. A small section of Union Street near King Street was closed.
Esposito had some final advice for township[ residents coping in the aftermath: “Be neighborly. Be patient, and hope for the best.”