For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2012
State of emergency in effect
Freehold Boro institutes curfew due to power outage
Residents urged to avoid downed wires following storm
FREEHOLD, NJ – Freehold Mayor J. Nolan Higgins and the Borough Council declared a State of Emergency after a violent rainstorm swept through the borough Saturday night, causing extensive damage and power outages. A curfew will be in effect from dusk until dawn until power is restored.
“The issue right now is safety,” Higgins said. “I know residents want to pitch in, but because it is not immediately known how many of our downed wires are live, they should be avoided at all costs. I urge everyone please avoid these dangers and stay indoors after dark until power is restored.”
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has dispatched crews from the Department of Public Works and the Division of Shade Tree to assist with the cleanup.
“When an emergency arises, especially a storm that causes extensive damage and jeopardizes safety, the county is more than willing to help,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “Violent storms have been an almost daily occurrence here in Freehold all week, and we thank God no one was injured.”
“Freehold is the county seat, so when a disaster strikes the borough it also affects county operations,” Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “The county has resources above and beyond what Freehold Boro has at its disposal, so we will do whatever we can to assist during this crisis.”
Monmouth County has experienced severe thunderstorms all last week: Thursday night, Saturday morning and again Saturday evening – the one that caused the damage. Aside from Freehold Boro and Freehold Township being affected, last night’s storm tore tents and felled trees the East Freehold Showgrounds on Kozloski Road, bringing the 2012 Monmouth County Fair to an abrupt close.
Jersey Central Power & Light Co. crews worked through the night, with reinforcements arriving this afternoon to help assess the damage and begin clearing debris and restoring power. About 3,500 homes in Freehold Boro and Freehold Township lost power. It is not known when power will be restored.
To ensure the safety of all residents, Freehold Boro police, assisted by officers from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, will be patrolling throughout the night to enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew. The curfew will remain in effect until power is restored. In addition to using a reverse 911 system to alert residents, police were distributing fliers in both English and Spanish this afternoon to anyone they see on the street, alerting them to the curfew.
A number of area stores have offered Freehold Boro residents free ice and water during this crisis. One bag of ice and two gallons of water will be distributed to residents at no charge at the following locations:
- Foodtown, Park Avenue (Route 33) , Freehold;
- ShopRite, South Street (Route 79), Freehold;
- Acme, Route 9, Freehold, and
- Stop & Shop, Raintree Town Center, Freehold Township.
JCP&L recommends taking the following if you lose power:
· If only your lights are out:
Check your circuit breakers or fuses.
· If no breaker is tripped or fuse is blown, the problem may be in the connection between JCP&L’s wires and your home. Call JCP&L’s toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
· Follow these other steps:
o To safeguard your equipment and appliances - and to ease the initial load when power is restored – turn off or unplug televisions, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, computers, and appliances that use electric motors such as refrigerators, freezers or air conditioners, until power is restored. Leave an incandescent light plugged in so you know when the power comes back on.
o Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. These appliances are well insulated, so food will keep for hours if opening the door is kept to a minimum.
o Use a flashlight or battery-powered lantern for light. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a dangerous fire hazard.
If your neighbors’ lights are out, too:
· Call JCP&L. They may not know that your power is out unless you notify them. To help them respond most effectively, use their toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
· Follow the other steps to take (above) during an outage.
Calling JCP&L’s Outage Assistance number
- Customers should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
- Follow the recorded prompts to let JCP&L know your power is out.
- Customers with a communication disability can report an outage using the appropriate TTY/TDD relay service.
- Please report a downed wire only if you actually see one at your location. Do not assume that because your power is out there must be a wire down somewhere. For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.
If you choose to use a backup generator during an outage, please use it safely.
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