Halloween came. It came just the same!
Sorry, Dr. Seuss. The Morristown Partnership pushed back downtown trick-or-treating to Monday, Nov. 5, at 3 pm, to enable everyone to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
But some kids never got the memo. Here are a few who brightened South Street on Wednesday. Our thanks to MG Kids Editor Sharon Sheridan for having her camera at the ready.
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Two days after Hurricane Sandy, Morristown is out of gas.
“Generators are going to run out of fuel,” Mayor Tim Dougherty said on Wednesday, a day that saw Halloween canceled for safety concerns.
Every gas station in town has run dry, the Mayor said, urging residents to conserve gas and water, and to sleep at Morris County’s emergency shelter at Mennen Arena in Morris Township if their homes get too cold without power.
Anyone needing to stay at the shelter should call 973-292-4884. The Mayor said the town can arrange transportation to the arena, which is being run by the county Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross.
The town also has a warming facility, with WiFi, television and charging stations for cell phones, in the seniors center at town hall. It’s open until midnight, and the town is considering staffing it around the clock. The same amenities are available 24-7 at the town fire house on Speedwell Avenue.
Jersey Central Power & Light is sticking to its initial estimates that it will take seven- to 10 days to restore power across the state. Already, there have been discrepancies about how many people are without electricity in Morristown.
On Tuesday, the town Office of Emergency Management said the figure had shrunk from 74 percent to 44 percent without power. But on Wednesday morning JCP&L’s website put the number at 68 percent; by the evening, the Mayor said it was 58 percent, based on information from JCP&L.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Police non-emergency: 973-989-2793
Public shelter: 973-292-4884
Report downed wires: 973-538-2800
Report power outages: 1-888-544-4877.
On the internet, people still angry about last year’s storm outages after Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter vented continued frustration with the utility. Some contended JCP&L has not improved communication about power restoration; others were impatient with the pace of repairs.
The Mayor, a critic of JCP&L last year, said he will withhold judgment for now.
“We’re trying to do everything humanly possible to keep pressure on JCP&L” to restore service to Morristown customers, he said. Yet he acknowledged that Sandy was the most massive storm of his lifetime. “They’re doing the best they can.”
The utility is struggling to get hospitals back online, said town Attorney Vij Pawar. “St. Clare’s has no power,” he said, referring to the Denville medical center.
The town gave JCP&L a priority list of about 20 streets with downed trees and wires; Washington Avenue and Georgian, Cottage and Chestnut roads were among roads that have been cleared by the fire department, said Acting Fire Chief Bob Flanagan.
Mayor Dougherty reiterated that any downed wires should be considered dangerous; report them at 973-538-2800. And report power outages to JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877.
RUNNING ON FUMES
Morristown police kept order at gas stations, where long lines of motorists were turned away as pumps went dry. Station attendants could not predict when delivery trucks would arrive.
The Mayor urged people to curtail unnecessary drives, and to use water sparingly.
“It takes pumps to pump the water, and generators are fueling those pumps. The less we use the pumps, the more fuel we conserve,” the Mayor said.
Like those pumps, weary town employees are running on fumes, too.
“We’re all running on very little sleep,” said the Mayor, praising the town’s police, firefighters, DPW workers and volunteers for exceeding his expectations, reminding him why he is proud to live in Morristown.
More volunteers are needed on Thursday to distribute emergency information to residents without phone or internet access. Anyone interested should come to town hall at noon.
TRICK OR TREAT?
The Morristown Partnership postponed Wednesday’s downtown trick-or-treating until Monday, Nov. 5, at 3 pm. But some kids didn’t get the memo, and a sprinkling of colorful costumes appeared on South Street in the afternoon.
Steve and Michelle Maxson of Morristown strolled around dispensing candy, delighting Megan Jovani, age “seven and three-quarters,” who dressed as an angel, and Layna Arvenites, 18 months, outfitted as a baby chick.
There was a festive, snow-bound feeling inside the packed SmartWorld coffee shop, too, despite non-functioning WiFi.
Jamie Harvey of Morris Township thought she had dodged a bullet during the storm, emerging with her electricity intact. But then it was shut down by repair crews doing tree work. “It could be days” before it’s restored, she said, making the best of it with Rich and Pam Johnson.
The retired Morristown couple were recharging their phones from a giant power brick supplied by SmartWorld owner Dave Walters.
While the café was warm, the Johnsons’ house is not.
“It’s cold,” Pam said cheerfully. “I’ve got my long underwear on.”
The list of cancellations just keeps growing. Saturday’s football finale for Morristown High School, scheduled for 2:30 pm at home against Sparta–has been canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
It’s been a rough season for the Colonials, who were gunning for their second win. If you missed the first one, here it is:
They can play the World Series in November. So why not trick or treating?
The Morristown Partnership has rescheduled Halloween form Monday, Nov. 5, from 3 pm to 5 pm. Downtown businesses will give out candy to little boys and ghouls of all ages.
The annual event had been scheduled for today–Halloween–but safety concerns remained in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
So this gives everyone another weekend to work on your costume. One word of advice: Don’t masquerade as a utility repairman, unless you want to get pressed into service!
As we reported earlier, Morristown service stations are out of gas. Police have issued a gridlock alert and are advising motorists to avoid Morristown.
The Morris School District has canceled classes for the remainder of the week, over concerns about travel safety for students in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a spokesperson said.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 31, Jersey Central Power & Light reports that 86 percent of Morris County is without elecricity.
In Morristown the official figure is 69 percent (though Morristown officials said Tuesday night it was down to 44 percent). In the Township, 86 percent of customers are in the dark; in the Plains, it’s 84 percent, according to JCP&L.
Hope everyone is keeping warm during the recovery from Hurricane Sandy! The Presbyterian Church in Morristown is fortunate to have power, so we invite you to come join us this weekend for our Saturday concert event and our Sunday morning activities.
Music for Coronation
Saturday, November 3 at 7 p.m.
Sanctuary of the Church on the Green
The Thirteen will sing choral works in honor of the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
The Thirteen is an elite ensemble of twelve professional singers based in South Jersey, specializing in music of the Renaissance and Baroque. South Jersey’s only professional choir, The Thirteen performs throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Sunday morning worship and Church School is also happening as planned. We have two worship services, one at 9:15 and another at 11:00pm. We also have Church School for children and adults at 9:15 at our Education Center on 65 South Street.
Come join us this weekend for great music and community!
By Berit Ollestad
Despite what you may have heard, Morristown is a dry town.
Of course, we mean gasoline. It was running out on Wednesday morning. Gas station attendants said delivery trucks have not arrived in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; Morristown police were dispatched to break the news to long lines of unhappy motorists.
As of 11:30 am, only 200 gallons of fuel were left at the Getty Station on Speedwell Avenue. Police Officer Kevin Buell was directing traffic, and preparing to go car to car to tell drivers they were out of luck. More than 100 cars were stacked in a line that snaked past Speedwell Lake.
Ryan Guercio of Highland Lakes works at the BMW dealership on Ridgedale Avenue. He did not want to risk running out of gas by driving around searching for it. So he grabbed a gas can and walked to the Getty Station–only to discover it was out of gas.
So he walked to the Dean station on Abbett Avenue, and was thrilled to get a couple of gallons for his drive home.
Line of cars on Speedwell won’t be finding gas on this trip.
Station attendant Jim Benjamin said there was no word when his suppliers will be able to get more fuel from refineries that were shut down by the storm.
For the most part, he said, customers were well behaved. He was the one getting frazzled. “There’s not a second to do anything, to count your money, I’m just running from pump to pump.”
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The worst weather brings out the best in Greater Morristown. Everyone proved that last year during Irene and the Nor’Easter. Hurricane Sandy is putting us to the test again.
Got a story about a good deed? An unsung hero? Want to offer a helping hand? Post it here, in a comment. Or send us an email and we’ll share it with our readers. Just put “Neighbors” in the subject line.
Together, we’ll all get through this. Like we always do.
Because of bad traveling conditions in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Fountains of Wayne concert scheduled for Nov. 1 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown has been canceled.
The show will be rescheduled. Ticket holders should hold onto their tickets, the theater said.