During a conference call with the president of JCP+L this afternoon, NJ mayors learned that there are already more than 120,000 residents without power, most of them in the coastal areas where Hurricane Sandy made landfall. We’re told that travel is almost impossible in those areas. JCP+L has “de-energized” towns along New Jersey’s barrier islands — shutting off power to the substations there.
I feared that JCP+L officials might not be aware that our sewage plant is situated on the Delaware River and a power outage would allow untreated effluent to flow into the river. So I asked whether that — and the fact that some residents rely on well water — would boost Frenchtown’s rank on the priority list should we lose power. JCP+L President Don Lynch said that sewage treatment plants are priority facilities, (not as high as hospitals and such, but up on the list somewhere). But he also said that municipalities all over the state have residents who have wells, so that doesn’t count for much. He recommends that those families store water for drinking, etc. and even fill tubs.
In other news, Dave Cahill of River Net Computers has set up a camera above the shop on Front Street aiming at the river. We’re not sure whether it will pick anything up after dark, but it will be linked on the Frenchtown website on Tuesday morning.
Speaking of the river, JCP+L President Lynch said that all predictions point to significant flooding in some parts of the state, both during the storm (on smaller rivers and streams) and after the storm passes (on larger rivers (we know what that means). In anticipation of that possibility, we’ve asked the contractor on the Nishishackawick Creek stream restoration project to hold up until after the storm passes. (He was set to begin on Wednesday, Oct. 24.) It now looks like that may have been a good decision.
As far as the Delaware is concerned, I spoke with a representative of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today who said that the commission is not anticipating significant flooding of the Delaware at this time. We’ll see how good a prediction that is as the end of the week approaches.
One more thing, it’s clear that the worst of the storm is yet to come to Frenchtown. If you lose power, please call the JCP+L outage hotline to report it: 1-888-544-4877.
Ironically, Borough Hall — and other spots in town — lost power for a few minutes during the JCP+L conference call.