Keeping two historic and electricity-crushing storms in mind, Washington Township officials and local business are preparing for Hurricane Sandy as the coastal storm makes its way up the east coast.
“The potential of this storm is getting greater by the day,” Washington Township Office of Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Jim Smith said. “The most recent track says 8.5 inches of rain, and that worries me for the valley.”
Smith, who spent most of 2012 coordinating the town’s first-ever Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) as a result of Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm, said he fears plenty of impact for both the mountain and valley sections of town.
“I’m worried about the wind on the mountain and potential power outages,” Smith said.
C.E.R.T. leader Bill Smith has been put on notice for the team to be prepared if needed, Smith said. Short-term shelters have also been identified if necessary at the Washington Township Library and Senior Center.
If long-term shelters are needed, Smith said, the town will make St. Luke’s Parish on West Mill Road and the Benedict A. Cucinella School on Naughright Road available. If those buildings are opened, members from the Red Cross will be in charge of operating the shelters.
In an alert posted by the township on washtwpmorris.org, officials urge residents to take the storm seriously.
“Township leadership strongly recommends that you prepare your household for the possible storm by ensuring that you have adequate supplies of water, canned food and medicines on hand. Also be sure to charge any electronic devices, and have your vehicles fueled and propane tanks filled. For residents with storm drains, be sure to clear them of any debris to allow for the free flow of water. Since power outages are a distinct possibility, have the JCP&L outage number handy (888-544-4877). If you report an outage, be sure to write down the tracking number that they give you.”
We are watching the evolving weather situation closely, and will post updates on the Washington Township web, Facebook and Twitter sites, as well as to mobile devices for those residents who have signed up for the Nixle alerting system. (If you haven’t signed up yet, send a text message from your mobile device to address 888777 with 07853 as the message)."
Setting Up for Sandy
As of Thursday afternoon, local hardware suppliers were gearing up for the storm as well, and expected to have as much available to customers as possible before the storm hits.
A shipment of 12 standby generators was delivered to Hackettstown’s Home Depot Wednesday night in preparation of the storm, an employee said. The 5,000 watt power provider is currently selling for $599.
Over at Lowe’s on Mountain Avenue in Hackettstown, there was only one generator–a display model–available Thursday afternoon, but the store was expecting a drop-shipment of generators before Friday, the store said.
While Hoffman’s Supply on East Mill Road in Long Valley did not have any generators for sale, there was a range of the devices available for rent.
Customers can rent generators from Hoffman’s for between $40 and $115 per day, with watt sizes ranging from 1,300 to 6,500.
The National Weather Service is forecasting Hurricane Sandy’s impact to reach Washington Township between Sunday and Tuesday.