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East Brunswick mayor asks for patience relating to power restoration after Tropical Storm Isaias

EAST BRUNSWICK–With Tropical Storm Isaias out of the state’s path, Mayor Brad Cohen updated residents about East Brunswick’s actions to clean up and restore power.

“I’m sure that with a pandemic, financial collapse, racial tensions, debate over school opening, and now the effects of yesterday’s hurricane, most of us would love to hit the reset button on 2020,” Cohen said in a prepared statement. “I wish I could do that, but we’re not in Oz, so let me give you the most current updates on the aftereffects of yesterday’s hurricane.”

Cohen said he has been in contact with representatives from both power companies that service East Brunswick, PSE&G and JCP&L. The township did not have any reports of flooding during the heavy windstorm, despite having prepared for flooding, he said.

“Both PSE&G and JCP&L have reported restoration to parts of the town, but these were generally areas that were easy to restore,” Cohen said in the statement issued on Aug. 5. “Areas without service are generally caused by damage to primary and secondary transmission centers and downed trees and/or poles that interrupt the transmission lines.”

Cohen said both companies have secured help from mutual aid crews from out of state to augment the crews that were already in New Jersey. The companies expect full restoration by Sunday, he said.

“There is nothing that the township can do to make the process occur any faster,” Cohen said in the statement. “We ask that you continue to be patient as many of our own staff, including our police, fire, parks/recreation, and Department of Public Works personnel, work to get power restored.”

Additionally, Cohen said information on the power company websites regarding restoration times are gross estimates and should not be counted upon at this time as many areas were unable to report power outages to begin with. The companies are still determining the extent of damage.

“Please do not touch any downed power lines or any trees that are attached or tangled in power lines. Contact the power company, if you can get through, or the township through the police or DPW departments to report such conditions,” Cohen said in the statement. “Many residents have also reported loss of service from Comcast. Comcast service depends upon the power and as such, the internet, cable, and phone service will be restored when power is back.”

Additionally, Cohen said due to the loss of internet service, most residents are using their cellular service as an alternate. This has caused increased demand on the cellular capacity and as a result, there is a slowing or dropout in service. Again, this will all be resolved once power is restored.

“In the event of a medical emergency please utilize any communication option at your disposal. If all else fails, go directly to the nearest Emergency Room,” Cohen said. “In addition, the police department has put cones and caution tape in places that pose a risk to public safety. Please do not move cones or attempt to cross into areas that have been closed. They are closed for a reason.”

Cohen said residents have also asked about fallen tree branches. The township is already in the process of clearing trees and tree branches that block roadways. The township will make every effort possible to pick up all fallen branches from residential properties.

“This is not a priority at this time as crews are all deployed to help with the restoration of power. Please leave any fallen tree branches at the front of your property so that it can be picked up when we can get to it,” Cohen said in the statement. “Please call the Department of Public Works to schedule a pickup but this will not likely be this week. Small branches will be picked up by the DPW department and brought to our compost center on Edgeboro Road.”
Cohen said larger branches will need to be chipped by the township’s Parks/Recreation tree crew. Since the township only has one chipper, residents will need to be patient. If a resident is unable to move branches or trees due to age, medical condition, or a disability, they should contact the mayor’s office.
“The township will do everything possible to get you assistance. Do not attempt to do this yourself. We have all certainly been tested and patience is in low supply. I ask that you continue to hang in and we will get through this crisis together,” Cohen said in the statement. “On a good note, there were no reported injuries or accidents as a result of yesterday’s storm. Feel free to write or call my office with your concerns, but know that your safety will always be my number one concern. Stay safe.”
To contact the mayor’s office, call 732-390-6810.
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