Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy – day 6

Not much actual change to report today, in spite of a very long blog post. Thank you to those who have reached out from across the country (and Australia). It means a lot to hear from you and I’m glad my blog posts are informative.


Our town made the CBS New York television news, as one of the towns hit hardest in our area. It’s not a very informative report – which is one reason I’m not a big TV news follower. But it’s something.


More than 1,000 trees down in our town alone, and 10 houses condemned. A total of 73 houses hit with trees, not including garages. Apparently 73 streets in town are still closed because of fallen trees and power lines. A tree service from Texas is working in town. 


While some friends in Westfield have gotten power back, the rest have been told not to expect it until early next week. Transmission and switching stations are apparently running again, but that doesn’t mean immediate power. Power workers from Missouri and Illinois are in town helping out (about 2,000 out of state workers total for our power company). 50 power line poles were damaged in town. Out of the 2.6 million who lost power in New Jersey, there are still about 1.5 million without. PSE&G (our power company) says they’ve restored power to 75% of schools in their service area and 73% of all their customers. They say that 1.7 million of their 2.2 million customers were impacted by the storm. For our county, about 178,000 customers out of 192,000 lost power, and 73,000 still have none. They’re estimating that most will have power back by Friday, November 9. Other estimates are November 11. For a primer in how the electrical system runs, take a look at the graphic here.

I love reading Facebook posts of friends who are getting their power back.


While there’s apparently enough gas, it’s now being rationed, and you can go depending on whether your license plate ends with an odd or even number (even plates can get gas on even days, etc.). We ventured out today to synagogue, passing several lines of cars waiting for gas. One near us has a line at least a mile long (we know he distance from the gas station to where we saw the cars, though we didn’t see the end of the line. One friend was thrilled to report this morning that getting gas only took her 34 minutes.

These cars are about a mile from getting gas. The station you see in the background is where we filled up last Sunday, but it has no power.


Zack was not happy to hear that of the 10 public schools in town, his is the only one that currently has power. They’ve still not let us know about school for next week – I’m sure it will depend on what happens this weekend. I’ve heard rumors  of no school until at least Thursday, but no official news yet.


Miraculously, we’ve still had trash service and recycling service this week, and even mail. Granted, the only three pieces of mail we got were a bill (thanks Verizon!), and two advertisements. No People magazine. I know, I suffer greatly. The city announced they’ll have a one-time storm debris pick-up as well, though no date yet. For those in Westfield, the conservation center is open all weekend from 9-5, and you don’t need a permit, only proof of residency.

Our state legislator is setting up shop to meet with constituents at a local Dunkin Donuts today.


Have you been following the NYC Marathon saga? The marathon was supposed to go on as scheduled on Sunday, with reports that generators were being mobilized for that, instead of helping NYC residents. Also, some in NYC who were staying at hotels in the city because of power outages or damage at home were being booted to house those coming in for the marathon. Other concerns of using other resources, like police, for this instead of for other needs. Huge backlash. They finally cancelled it. Interesting story by the New York Times of the marathon runners who do this for a living, and stand to lose half a year’s salary as a result.


We went to synagogue this morning, and were surprised by how full the parking lot was. Turns out we have guests from three other towns joining us, because their synagogues were in the dark. We held services in the youth lounge, which just recently completed renovation after Hurricane Irene devastated it. Howe fitting to be together in this room now, especially since one group joining us was from the synagogue who hosted our religious school for several months after it was driven out of the building from Irene.

The rabbi’s sermon on the importance of hospitality, using Abraham as an example, was just the lesson we’ve been working on with the kids this week. It was a nice (unplanned) reinforcement.


I call your attention to the blog again of Cynthia Ramnarace, fellow writer affected in Rockaway, NY. Good blog post on what’s happening in her neck of the woods.

I spoke to someone who went to Target yesterday. In addition to being open for business, our local Target opened its doors to anyone wanting internet and charging. She said it was a zoo, with people sitting and plugged into outlets in the return area, the shoe aisle, and many other aisles as long as there was an outlet near by. The new Starbuck’s inside (which I’ve never seen anyone actually use) had a huge line.

Westfield has a town-wide conference call at 5:25 today. Details here.


  1. Thank you for all this information. My parents have to travel up and down the state, so I am always checking for informative posts. Best wishes to you and yours.

    • Thanks for your comments Susan! Hope your parents are doing well.

  2. Thank you for putting this up! I’ve been texting info to my mom in Westfield, who has no power (today’s the 4th.)

    • So glad to hear this is helpful! Please let me know if I can do anything to help. I’m happy to stop by her place if you need me to and bring her anything she needs, etc.

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