From the Desk of Garwood Mayor Patricia Quattrocchi:
Based on the reports from Police Chief Bruce Underhill it appears that Garwood escaped the recent massive snow storm unscathed, there were no reports of downed trees, wires or loss of electrical power. While we received about 8-10 inches of snow our neighbors in Roselle were hit with about 14 inches, according to television news reports.
Our DPW is again to be commended as they did a wonderful job keeping the borough roads clear of snow to ensure that emergency vehicles could have safe passage. They were on the situation early on and continued working throughout the night. There were also numerous sightings of plows on the state and county roads here in Garwood also around the clock.
Unfortunately it was necessary to issue parking summonses for vehicles which were not removed from the borough roadways in accordance with the borough ordinance for snow plowing. This is not a new situation and residents would do well to be proactive and ensure that they do have a place to put their vehicles in the event that a snowfall occurs that leaves 3 inches or more on our roadways.
Also, residents and property owners should also be cognizant that they will be issued a summons if they do not clear public sidewalks within 24 hrs. of a weather event this includes both ice and snow. Even though one may be invigorated by the pristine surroundings and crisp clean air following a snowfall we urge folks to realize that shoveling snow is the same as any other aerobic activity. If you are not physically able to do a full aerobic workout do not think you will be able to shovel your own driveway and it is advisable to do some warm-up exercises prior to shoveling regardless of your age. Your health is worth the small investment of paying someone to clear the snow for you. If you have a landscaper cutting the lawn, for a small fee, they will do the shoveling and it is worth the investment. Or perhaps a neighbor’s son or daughter would be up to the task for a small monetary fee.
Downed power lines are still a concern with the winds in the storm’s aftermath, some tree branches still are covered in snow and can create hazardous situations. Residents are urged to refrain from going near any downed wires and should report such situations to the energy provider, PSE&G, by contacting 1-800-436-7734. Please be prepared to give the nearest cross street or the number of a nearby pole, there is a metal tag attached to each pole. Also gas leaks can be a problem with the frozen ground and should be reported directly to Elizabethtown Gas at 1-800-4009.
Residents are reminded that if they do not have heat or loose electrical service they can go to the Garwood Police Department 24/7 and get warm while the problem is being rectified. Our Garwood Police Department has been out knocking on the doors of our seniors thru the recent very cold weather conditions, these “wellness checks” are an important component of our Community Policing procedures. However, they will never take the place of neighbors checking on neighbors. We urge residents to check on their elderly and infirmed neighbors and friends ensuring that they do have adequate heat and food supplies in the house for a few days as well as clear sidewalks and exterior staircases to allow access in the event of an emergency.
Due to the storm Garwood’s Lincoln School had an early dismissal on Friday and will resume their normal schedule on Monday 2/11.
It has been reported that all highways are open with dry pavement conditions by nightfall to reduce the threat of ice. Most customers without power are concentrated in the southern parts of the state and flooding is localized to those regions that experienced more rain than snow.
It has been reported by NJ Transit that though bus service has been restored to all areas customers should expect some delays due to local road conditions and to allow extra time to reach their destinations. Trains have resumed their regular schedules.
All in all NJ, Union County and specifically Garwood fared well thru the storm in comparison to areas of NY and into New England where mail delivery service was suspended and towns were the recipients of 36 and even 40 inch snowfalls. We should all now see where our short comings are and be able to rectify those areas of concern going forward as the winter is certainly far from over.