Shelters Provide Warmth to Tri-Boro Residents

Kinnelon woman said she thinks shelter is 'wonderful.'

Marge Goeller, of , was beginning to shake she was so cold in her Fayson Lakes home when her daughter told her about the warming shelter set up in the cafeteria Sunday.

"I think it's wonderful, I was dying for a cup of coffee," Goeller said.

Goeller, a senior citizen, said her daughter received a text message Nixle alert from the Kinnelon Police Department and found out about the shelter. She arrived at the shelter around 12:30 p.m. Sunday after losing power arund 2 p.m. on Saturday.

"I didn't pay attention because usually, between 10 to 15 minutes, it goes back on," Goeller said.

Goeller's daughter called police to transport Goeller to the shelter as she was unable to get out of her driveway. She brought a book to keep her busy, but Goeller said she does not plan on spending the night.

Ladies Auxiliary President Maribeth Smialek said she is unsure if the Kinnelon shelter will remain open overnight, but she is already planning to serve dinner. While the shelter, which opened around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, only saw about 10 people by 1 p.m., Smialek said people have stopped in to grab a bite to eat and get warm before leaving.

"They're just coming, getting warm, having something to eat and heading out," she said.

Bagels, cookies, juice, hot cocoa and coffee are available.

"The school has been very accomodating," Smialek said, as both cafeterias are open.

Colleen Griffin, 14, was playing checkers with her family at the shelter Sunday afternoon.

Griffin said she lost power in her home at 4:40 p.m. Saturday.

"We have a fireplace so we just camped out around a fire to keep warm," she said.

But her family decided to stop by the shelter at about 12:25 p.m. Sunday to warm up.

"I think it was a pretty good idea to have a warming center," she said.

Griffin said the power outage did not keep her from attending a party at her friend's house Saturday night.

"I don't think it ruined any plans," she said.

Seventeen-year-old Ashley Smialek served as a volunteer at the shelter Sunday. Ashley said she decided to help out after her grandmother recommended bringing some board games.

No notice of school being canceled Monday has been issued, but Ashley, a Kinnelon High School student, said she is concerned about student transported in light of the power outages.

"What I'm taking into consideration is are we going to get all the students here?" she asked.

Butler also set up a warming shelter at the Bartholdi Avenue firehouse, 110 Bartholdi Avenue, and Bloomingdale set up a shelter at the , 225 Glenwild Avenue, but residents must call police before going to the shelter at 973-838-0158.

Both the Butler and Kinnelon Police Departments have warned that Butler Electric has indicated that for an extended amount of time.

Transportation to the warming shelter at the high school is available to residents in need. Kinnelon police are also asking residents to check on their neighbors and inform them of the warming shelter, particularly those who may not receive email or text message alerts.

Below is contact information for any residents experiencing an emergency:

: 973-838-5400

You can also:

  • Receive Nixle alerts from the Kinnelon Police Department or Butler Police Department by signing up at Nixle.com
  • Receive SWIFT Reach 9-1-1 alerts from the Bloomingdale Police Department by signing up here
  • Follow the Borough of Kinnelon on Twitter at KinnelonBoro here
  • Read updated alerts from the Kinnelon Volunteer Fire Company (Kinnelon Volunteer Fire Co.) or Kinnelon Office of Emergency Management (Kinnelon OEM) on Facebook here
  • Read updated alerts from the Butler Police Department (Butler Police Department) on Facebook here
  • Read updated alerts from the Borough of Bloomingdale (Borough of Bloomingdale) on Facebook here


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