By late Friday, homes without power in South Orange numbered in the hundreds. Earlier in the week, more than 2000 residents were in the dark. Village and other officials made the community's case to PSE&G.
Barry Lewis, Village Administrator, joined the Village President Alex Torpey in his second meeting of the week with other local, county and state officials in addition to the PSE&G President and government affairs personnel.
Torpey and others expressed their frustration at the lack of clear information being shared by PSE&G to local governments and the broader community. Torpey will ask the Board of Trustees to consider a resolution Monday night asking the State to examine PSE&G's information management, communication and emergency preparedness capabilities and ultimately either make recommendations or find legislative solutions to fix this process.
Village officials will also be discussing other steps to take to mitigate potential for power outages in the future, including discussing the potential of village-wide tree-trimming programs, the possibility of relocating higher-risk utility poles to front yards or underground, continuing to improve the response efforts all around and discussing strategies with other municipal governments.
The Village is also in the midst of upgrading a number of technology infrastructure components, including the website (and how emergency information is displayed and accessed on it) and what software is used to send emergency notifications to the community.
Additional information from the Village:
Keep up to date at southorange.org on the latest news, and as we find more information about the restoration schedule we will continue to post it online.
Village OEM wants to remind the community that the best way to receive information during emergencies is to be signed up for voice/text/email alerts from the Village, which you can signup for at southorange.org/alerts. Although we will be shortly upgrading this system, signing up now will transfer your registration to the new system.
Because landline phones can go down during prolonged power outages, entering your mobile number and email address, as well as following South Orange on Twitter @SouthOrangeNJ (this is the first storm the South Orange Twitter was used for) ensures you will be able to receive all of the latest information.