The Fairmount and Schooley’s Mountain Firehouses will now act as shelters for Washington Township residents looking for warmth and electricity.
Town officials along with police and Office of Emergency Management personnel gathered at the police station Tuesday afternoon to discuss the best way to keep residents safe in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction.
Department of Public Works employees have been working around the clock since Monday morning to remove trees from roadways throughout the town. Volunteer firefighters have also been contributing with calls and clearing roadways where possible.
Cots for those choosing to sleep at the shelters will be divided between the two stations–20 at each building–but residents are encouraged to bring their own blankets, pillows, and snack foods.
There are no shower facilities available to the residents at the shelters, and no pets are allowed unless it is a designated assistance animal. Officials are also reminding residents to not forget their medications if necessary.
As of Tuesday night, some 5,925 residences were still without power, according to Jersey Central Power & Light’s outage map.
The Washington Township Municipal Building will be closed Wednesday, Oct. 31, along with all Washington Township and West Morris Regional Schools.
Benedict A. Cucinella School was opened earlier in the day Tuesday as a shelter, but was closed soon thereafter as officials learned there would be no heat available and low generator supply.
Communications in the township have been sporadic, but a non-emergency hotline is being manned around the clock for residents. That number is 908-876-4633.
The police department is unable to access NIXLE alerts and Reverse 9-1-1 calls. Those calls are currently being distributed by the county per the township’s request.