Update From Hazlet Mayor Tinker
Compared to Union Beach and Keyport, Hazlet is lucky, says the mayor.
Hurricane Sandy's strong winds knocked some trees onto houses and cars throughout Hazlet, but its low-lying West Keansburg section did not suffer severe flooding, as in neighboring Union Beach, Keyport and Keansburg.
"In Union Beach, entire blocks have been washed away. Houses are flooded. It's flooding like they've never seen before. It's heart-breaking," said Tinker, who is at the Office of Emergency Management temporary headquarters at Town Hall with an assistant coordinator and volunteers."Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Union Beach. We're devastated by what we've seen there."
Tinker said that the county emergency management center has set up a staging area for emergency personnel at Holy Family School on Route 36.
Public workers are clearing primary streets and have moved onto secondary streets. The township will be speaking with JCP&L at 4 p.m.
One thing people can do to help emergency workers help them is to stay off the road. "We're still in a state of emergency," he said. "Technically, instead for essential personnel, you should not be driving."
He said that the township was endeavoring to update citizens through the township website and Facebook page but was hampered by power and limited connectivity problems.
Streets throughout town were littered with branches and leaves. Hanging wires dangled in some places. The arms on the crossing gates at the train station were broken, but it is of no matter because there is no train service at this time.
Traffic lights on Route 35 were out, but that did not stop some people from attempting to cross or make left turns onto the opposite side.
No storm-related injuries have been reported today, but one Hazlet First Aid volunteer who asked not to be named was bruised on both arms transporting a stroke patient down a stairwell today.