Statement from Mayor Robert Conley, 7:21 p.m. Wednesday
Our planning for this epic storm began last week under the leadership of Emergency Management Coordinator and Councilman Bob Landrigan, and Assistant Coordinator and Acting Police Chief Darren Datchison. I am very proud of the leadership they provided as they worked with department heads with coming up with plan to prepare for the storm and the expected recovery. As we know the work you do before an emergency is as important as the work that is done after the event. Also In addition to the Borough staff we have been supported dedicated volunteers manning the phones, staffing the shelter and making emergency calls to those in need.
Even with all this planning we could have never have predicted the damage that has hit Madison and the State of New Jersey. In Madison we have many homes damaged by trees but as we have seen in pictures from around the state, we now know how devastating this storm was; homes lost, neighborhoods destroyed. Those of us who only lost power consider our ourselves lucky.
With millions without power, utility crews have been pushed to their maximum. Working in our favor is our dedicated Public Works staff clearing roads, our own Electric Department working to restore power. We have additional contractors supporting the tree removal and we have 2 electric utility crews from Louisiana here, with thanks to the City of Vineland, to assist with the restoration of power.
Since the loss of power, we have been in constant communication with JCP&L. As they promised last year, JCP&L ramped up their communication efforts and understand that we are not one customer but a town of 16,000 with a university of 2,000 and multiple locations of senior housing and nursing home. Within hours of the end of the storm they had a crew walking the line to assess the damage and today multiple crews were on site saying, "We're not leaving until power to Madison is restored." The feeder line was energized at 7 PM today, the central business district was powered out 7:20 PM. I want to thank the leadership and the crews of JCP&L for their delivery on their promise.
Even with the restoration of the feeder line, we are still faced with downed wires and poles that will take days to repair. Remember any estimate on power restoration is just that, an estimate. power could come on sooner or later than expected. For safety sake, all lines should be assumed to be hot, be careful and be watchful. If you are not among those that received power today, I ask you to be patient, again this was a storm of historic proportions.
As we all work together through this recovery please keep in mind neighbors who may need to be checked up on, and remember whether you are the first house to to have power restored or the last, we are all in this together. At times like this Madison has always stepped up, the last 48 hours and the next week is no different, thank you to all who have lent a hand and opened their homes to your neighbors.
The Borough of Madison has a team in place that is dedicated to bringing us through this disaster, if you run into our crews on road or the the staff and volunteers at our various charging and warming centers, please give them your thanks, they are doing a tremendous job.