Editor's note: The following is a news release from East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov.
Now that Hurricane Sandy clean-up is well underway and residents have power restored, we can reflect on the challenges and inconveniences of this extraordinary experience, but we also can and should count our blessings that here in East Windsor Township, we had no serious injuries or loss of life, and all of us have our homes and personal belongings intact. Even with impaired roadways and few functioning traffic signals, the Township had only one minor hurricane-related automobile accident; residents are to be commended for use of extra caution and courtesy on the roads. We also experienced no hurricane/power outage-related acts of crime.
THANK YOU! East Windsor needs to thank the countless residents, volunteers, staff, religious and civic organizations, the State of New Jersey and the Gov. Christie administration, FEMA, and countless others for their unprecedented response to an unprecedented storm that tested, and continues to test, our patience and resolve. We experienced many localized individual, business and organization acts of generosity and kindness to our residents and community.
I want to commend and thank our Police Chief James Monahan for his stellar leadership and the entire Police Department for their dedicated and caring service and assistance in helping to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. Our Director of Public Works Bill Askenstedt again was amazing, overseeing an awesome job by our great Public Works Department in preparing for the storm, as well as in the follow-up clean-up of our streets and neighborhoods, which is on-going. It is noteworthy that public works services including recycling and garbage collection were resumed by Wednesday, the day after the storm. Additionally, my personal thanks to Recreation Director James Brady who assisted with many needs including communications with our residents.
Thank you to all of our volunteer first-responders in fire and rescue who are always there year-round and provided good support during the storm event. Special recognition and gratitude go to the leadership and members of East Windsor Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 who really stepped up, opening their building to our residents to provide a safe and warm and friendly place and charging center for electronics, as well as serving as a local distribution center for water and ice.
Great thanks to American Legion Post 148 for opening their facility and offering shelter and meals to the community. Many local businesses assisted East Windsor with addressing the many challenges associated with Hurricane Sandy, including the Americana Diner, WaWa, Conair Corporation, Accel Rx, and Ferreira-Crisdel Construction. Several other local organizations offered their facilities to assist as needed.
In addition, it has been wonderful to see so many neighbors helping one another and coming together to overcome this difficult time. Neighbors throughout the community checked in on and watched out for their neighbors, shared information and resources. I deeply thank every one of you.
COMMUNICATIONS are a key element of any urgent situation. We encourage everyone in East Windsor to Sign Up for E-News Updates at www.east-windsor.nj.us. For the future during important situations, E-News Alerts will be posted on our public buildings as well. East Windsor also uses the County Reverse 9-1-1 System, which has a data base of home phone numbers for emergency communications. Consider Registering Cellular Phone Numbers for the Local Reverse 9-1-1 Call System at https://mercercounty.onthealert.com. I was able to have the County institute the addition of cell numbers after Hurricane Irene.
As Mayor, I was in communications with JCP&L and the Governor’s office throughout the entire event. When action and information remained not forthcoming, I reached out to everyone I could -- including elected officials at all levels, President of the Board of Public Utilities and the highest executives of JCP&L, finally receiving back multiple calls from the President of JCP&L with specific actions, work plans and schedules.
While we all recognize that Hurricane Sandy wrought huge and statewide damage, nevertheless, the absence of appropriate communications by JCP&L setting forth reasonable time lines and action plans, including specific infrastructure and neighborhoods to be repaired and restored, and their failure to promptly address priority sites was not acceptable and further aggravated the stress and uncertainty of residents and undoubtedly resulted in huge numbers of added phone calls to the utility. We will be following up with JCP&L and appropriate State officials to discuss necessary changes and improvements.
Many New Jersey residents and areas, and those in surrounding states, were devastated during Hurricane Sandy, and we encourage everyone to continue their generosity by assisting our fellow citizens. The American Legion Post 148, located at 895 Route 130 in East Windsor, is accepting donations of dry non-perishable food, clothing, cleaning suppies and blankets at their building, daily from 12 noon to 8:00 pm. The State of New Jersey also has established the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort at https://sandynjrelieffund.org/index.html.
My great thanks to everyone for your terrific community spirit, resilience and working together to pull through successfully as the great community we are in East Windsor Township!