Little Silver's municipal staffers are working around the clock to facilitate the long road to recovery from Hurricane Sandy, even while residents remain in the dark.
Borough Council held an emergency meeting Friday evening to update residents on public safety, power, DPW efforts and more. Residents packed the municipal chambers to ask questions and offer praise for the efforts of the small staffs that have been working almost nonstop since before the storm.
Foremost perhaps on residents' minds is power restoration. Unfortunately, the Borough Council cautions patience while a local assemblyman increases the pressure on JCP&L to do what they can to restore power to Little Silver.
"By Wednesday we hope to have a majority of people in Little Silver with power," said Mayor Robert Neff, who added that JCP&L has been flying in parts to repair sub-stations damaged in the storm.
Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, R-13, said he hopes restoration "will accelerate pretty dramatically" this weekend while the legislative delegation is "leaning hard on JCP&L."
Police Chief Daniel Shaffery warns residents that his department will strictly enforce the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, as he's concerned about the presence of debris, live wires and risks to river neighborhoods.
"No one is getting in, no one is getting out," the chief said, although his officers "have common sense" and will let a motorist out for a true emergency.
Although the department hasn't seen calls about thefts, aside from a reported generator that was stolen, Shaffery remains concerned about looting and wants the streets clear at night. He said extra patrols will be out along the Shrewsbury and Navesink after dark.
Additionally, the chief says gawkers along Little Silver Point Road are hindering the efforts of borough staff. As such, his department will begin limiting traffic there.
"We're here for you, we're doing our best," Shaffery said.
DPW Director Jim Gannon's "biggest concern is debris in the roads." He asks residents to try to separate construction debris from vegetation debris and promises crews will get to all down branches and tree limbs.
Fire Chief Andrew Smith said the department has responded to 45 calls since Monday, with 20 being the norm for an average month. Many of those were for carbon monoxide detectors, and he asks residents to replace their batteries regularly.
Voting will proceed on Tuesday, although it's unclear exactly where. Borough attorney John Bennett said polling places must have power, as per a directive from the state. Currently, the only two polls with power are the municipal building and the fire department. He said those who show up at their normal polling places Tuesday may be directed to the aforementioned buildings, depending on what's powered by then.
Assemblyman O'Scanlon encourages all to contact his legislative office at 32 Monmouth St., Red Bank, with any concerns or calls for help. He can be reached at 732-933-1591.
FEMA is expected to open a satellite office in Monmouth County soon, as it did this week in Ocean County. To report a claim in the meantime, call 800-621-3362.
- JCP&L: 888-LIGHTSS
- New Jersey Natural Gas: 800-427-5325
- Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority: 732-229-8578
- M&S Waste Services: 732-471-8900
- Little Silver police: 732-747-5900
- Little Silver on the web: http://www.littlesilver.org/ls/
- Monmouth County Emergency Management: 732-431-7400