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Tuesday in Holmdel: Power Outages Persist, Clean-Up Continues

Holmdel Township Mayor Pat Impreveduto shares news from a briefing with department heads held at Town Hall Tuesday morning.

Editor's Note: Although the DPW pumped out basements during the storm, it is no longer providing that service, said the mayor on Tuesday afternoon. An earlier version of this story stated that the DPW was available upon request. 

Township department heads held a briefing Tuesday morning. Here are some notes from Mayor Patrick Impreveduto: 

Power: Electric power is coming back slowly, with current estimates at 3129 customers are reporting to be without power in Holmdel as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. "JCPL says they are doing the best they can -- and that’s all we're getting from them," said Mayor Patrick Impreveduto who spoke with a representative at 9:30 a.m. "They say they have to take care of the central areas first before the residential end of it."

Sinkholes: In order to repair the township's three gaping sinkholes at Timberdale, Brentwood and South Beers streets, Township Committee members will need to agree to advertise for engineering bids, and get contractors lined up at a special meeting on Sept. 1 said Impreveduto. See the Patch story and photos here

Township Committee Special Meeting Sept. 1: A cancelled town government meeting has been put back on the calendar for Thursday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The only thing on the agenda at the moment is to award contract for engineering services for emergency road repairs, said Township Clerk Maureen Doloughty. There is no executive session scheduled. The Committee typically will take questions and comments from the public at the meeting. 

Brush Pickup: The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the township for storm damage caused by falling tree limbs on streets and power lines, and will also pay for carting and personnel costs. But FEMA will not be responsible for costs related to trees that fall down on individual homeowner properties. "As of now, the homeowner is responsible for trees down on their property.  It will be discussed at the meeting Thursday [Sept. 1]." 

Dept. of Public Works: They are busy clearing broken limbs and performing maintenance on township vehicles. 

School Readiness: The high school maintenance staff is working diligently to clean up the facility, which was used as an evacuation center for several hundred Bayshore evacuees over the weekend. 

Health Officer: The township health officer has been making rounds of the food-serving establishments to make sure they are in compliance with sanitary code. 

Communications: The township has been struggling to communicate electronically. Though Town Hall now has power, the computer servers do not, so email and township websites are down. Also, personnel say they cannot update the Holmdel Township Facebook page. Even the mayor himself says he has no power or water (because like many on the southern slope of Holmdel, he has well water.) On Tuesday afternoon, Neighborhood Watch captains will be going door to door to hand deliver a letter from the mayor, reprinted here in its entirety. 

A letter from the Mayor and Township Committee:

HOLMDEL TOWNSHIP

Update in the Aftermath of Hurricane Irene

 

                                          August 30, 2011

 

Dear Residents,

 

I am sure you are aware that Holmdel, as well as the rest of the State, is experiencing difficulty in communicating electronically because of storm related issues.   I want to reassure each resident that we are in constant contact with JCP&L Officials.  They have assured us that once they have restored power to all essential areas, they will work as expeditiously as possible to get power restored to the rest of Holmdel.  To that extent, they still have not given us a timeframe, but outages could last several more days.  

The Police have been, and will continue to be, a presence during these trying times.  The Township Committee is urging each resident to sign up for the Code Red Emergency Notification System.  If you have no access to the Internet, you can contact the Police Department at 732-946-9690 ext. 1721 with your name, address, and the phone numbers you wish to have contacted, and you will be added to Code Red. 

 It is our understanding that at this time stores on the Route 35 corridor and on Route 520 in Lincroft are available for essentials. 

Thank you for your cooperation.  Wishing you the best.

Mayor Pat Impreveduto and the Holmdel Township Committee

Partyoffive August 30, 2011 at 07:50 PM
We live at 34 and Schanck. Schanck is barricaded by Holmdel PD because if a tree leaning on lines over the road. Pleasant Valley to 520 has a down tree. Pleasant Valley to Aberdeen has a wire so low it skims the roof of the car. Holmdel PD says the down tree is Marlboro-Marlboro PD says the down tree is Holmdel. No one is doing anything! So in order to get out we either have to run under a downed line or run the police barricade and get a citation.
Partyoffive August 30, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Oh yeah and still no power and not a JCP&L truck in sight.
Mike Simpson August 30, 2011 at 11:44 PM
JCP&L safety crew was observed on Schanck Road at approximately 5:30pm tonight (Tuesday). They have to give safety clearance for repair crews to move in. Hopefully that will provide some good news....
Stephen Kruft August 31, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Power was restored where I live on Galewood Drive late this afternoon. As usual, we had no useful information, but as soon as we saw a JCPL truck, power was quickly restored. I can appreciate JCPL's challenges but I think their custom of never giving out any information about when power will be restored (until it is done) is very poor behavior. It has been the same way at least since we has a three-day power failure in winter 1982. Clearly they know where their resources are, what is being fixed and what is not. This must be a (misguided) policy, possibly because they don't want to make a promise and fail to deliver.
Rick Holbert August 31, 2011 at 03:06 AM
With the road closed at Schanck and 34 there is also no mail, newspaper, or garbage pickup for the neighborhoods affected. How hard would it be to remove the one tree limb that is affecting all these things? The standard PSE&G answer "we are doing the best we can" is more lip service than customer service. Someone from Holmdel should be insisting this be cleared to at least help restore these services much less our power.
Peter August 31, 2011 at 03:12 AM
The situation at Schanck and 34 is really horrible. We have consistently had power outages over the past few years even with much weaker storms than this one. It seems that the trees lining Schanck are allowed to grow too large or too close to the power lines above as they consistently knock out those lines during a storm. I'm not sure who's responsibility the maintenance of these trees should be, however it seems that the homeowners should be help responsible for making sure that trees on their property are properly maintained to not damage necessary utilities. If they do not, then the town should contract to have it done for them, and send them the bill. Further, the homeowners should be held responsible for damage to a utility caused by overgrown trees on their property. Given the number of individuals without power for days, holding a homeowner responsible if their actions have caused us to not even be able to get to our homes seems like a fair response.
Mike Simpson August 31, 2011 at 03:17 AM
In case it has missed anyone's attention it was a Hurricane??? May I requote part of the Code Red message that we sent out on the 25th.... "This is currently a large Category 3 storm, & has the potential, depending on its track over the upcoming weekend, to be a serious threat to our area. At this time State, County & Local Emergency Management Officials are urging all residents to monitor local TV & Radio stations for announcements, & to begin emergency preparations for personal preparedness. For assistance with emergency planning residents are urged to go to http://www.ready.gov & click on Hurricane Preparedness. Necessities such as medications, batteries, candles/flashlights, bottled water, etc. must be considered. " I trust that all those comments above came from folks who followed the advice to prepare??
Jeff R August 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM
Mike, probably best to let people vent and to can the sarcasm. Especially if you're a member of a government entity.
Rick Holbert August 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM
In case Mike hasn't noticed the removal of one tree limb laying across power wires is all that is needed to reopen Schanck Road. One limb that sits there isolating our neighborhoods from many of the basic services he is probably still receiving. All of this while I had to follow a street sweeter down one of Holmdel's roads yesterday. Does anyone think sweeping a street is a better use of manpower than removing downed limbs that litter our yards, block our streets, and prevent power from being restored?!?!
Partyoffive August 31, 2011 at 01:05 PM
Mike we were prepared. We stocked up on food and water. We filled the bathtubs in case we needed water to flush the toilets. We are lucky we have a generator-but still our basement flooded. Like all of my neighbors we are pulling out wet molding carpet. We have had to chain the generator to a car for fear of it being stolen by trucks of men looking to cut down trees eyeing the generators instead. They run the barricade at Schanck. In fact this morning a huge moving truck and a Township of Marlboro ran the barricade as well! We are not leaving to go shopping or even to go to work-we leave only to replenish our food and get gas for he generator. We are not being frivolous. As a neighborhood we know that there are other areas that are isolated. The police,EMS, and fire have been managing the best they are able. We all have. But everyone has a breaking point. I do not feel that it is unreasonable at this point to expect to see active progress in the clearing of Schanck Road and in absence of that an advocate at the government level acting as champion in seeking a solution to our horrible situation. So here we are day four, no power, no JCPL trucks, no mail, no paper, no trash pick up, no safe way out, no end in sight.
Scott Greenberg August 31, 2011 at 03:06 PM
There's still a downed tree in my development (Country Woods) which could be the cause of the slow response. They cleaned up maybe half of it Monday night. There's still a lot of tree left. Any info?
Mike Simpson August 31, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Schanck Road - Ohio Power and Light did some preliminary work late afternoon, left to get all materials needed and will return first thing in the am,,intent to restore Schanck by late afternoon Thursday. Road is still closed due to some power lines still down which could present a possible hazard,
Jeff Gollin September 01, 2011 at 12:37 AM
I live at the end of Mount. We're holed up at a Holiday Inn. Usually Galewood, Mount, Overlook and Victoria are lockstep with regard to power. As of 8:36 pm, we're not aware of power being restored at the Overlook/Mount vicinity. Know anything?
Jeff Gollin September 01, 2011 at 12:47 AM
What's frustrating has been seeing tree service and JCPL trucks, arrive, do a little work and then leave without getting the problem fixed or at least giving us some sort of clue as to when things can be expected to happen. (You have trees, lines, connection, energy-streams. These are tangible things that should not be difficult to address with a little better planning and organization). There's something wrong with sitting in a dark house with no reason to believe that power will be restored in one, two, maybe 8 hours - only to have 4 days go by with no power (& no comment from the town or utility. On-line communication while very sexy doesn't do much good when power and Internet connectivity is down and many people can't receive the message. I live on Mount Dr and don't recall seeing a squad car drive by let alone a representative of our govt or twp committee. A little on-site presence might go a long way toward calming the passions. Not only should Mike understand why people should vent, some of us (fairly or unfairly - since perception is reality - would like to see Mike, Pat P and other township leaders fight for us more actively and vociferously. End of rant.
Mike Simpson September 01, 2011 at 02:45 AM
To Jeff R. - sorry but some of these comments are showing up out of order for me...anyway....I just returned from driving Overlook, Mount, Victoria - saw the 2 places on Overlook where wires are down. Also drove S. Telegraph again. Jeff - I really understand you frustration but I know that doesn't help. I will be out there again early am and I'll see what I can find and I'll post here. The problem is that this is not a localized issue and there are still tens of thousands out. It would be nice to think that mention of my name would cause the President of JCP&L to shiver in fear but reality is they are part of a large energy company and small localities like ours carry very little weight. Also drove Hayward Hills.
Jeff Gollin September 01, 2011 at 11:37 AM
Pls fwd to Mike Simpson - It's Thurs 7:35 am. Power is back on the upper part of Mount Drive (to Galewood) but not back on along Overlook, Victoria Place or the bottom part of Mount Drive (intersection with the Overlook dogleg). My concern is that the JCPL crews will think they completed the job and then not return until they find out later on. Can SOMEBODY with a line to JCPL please contact them.? Thanx.

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