By John Burton
FAIR HAVEN — For the week after what Sandy had wrought it’ll be no school, yes to voting, no to Halloween and hopefully the return of power by midweek in the borough.
During an emergency meeting Friday afternoon, the mayor and borough council, Borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande and department heads offered their assessment of how the borough is fairing following the intense storm and what residents and businesses can expect in the coming week.
To an overflowing and cramped crowd of more than 250 in the borough’s Youth Center, 35 Fisk Street, Casagrande said she and her colleagues have been in communication with the area manager for JCP&L who said the best estimate of when power will return is Wednesday.
JCP&L is prioritizing its efforts, Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli said, and is concentrating on returning power to hospitals, the water company and other vital services, before moving on to more residential areas.
“That’s the way it goes,” he said.
The entire borough was without power on Friday, Nov. 2. The power to borough hall and the youth center is from generators, Casagrande said.
“We realize people are cold,” she told the crowd. “You can see they’re getting closer to us,” as parts of Red Bank have regained service.
The electricity could return be sooner but company officials “don’t want to make promises they can’t keep,” Casagrande said.
Casagrande and Joe McGovern, the borough’s Office of Emergency Management coordinator, assured residents the youth center would remain open, lit and heated, giving the public Internet access and a place to recharge electronic devises.
“This will be open 24-hours a day,” McGovern said.
Fair Haven’s Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Cronin and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Superintendent Peter Righi said school would be closed until Nov. 12.
“Once the power goes on, we’re going to need some time to make sure our schools are OK,” Cronin said.
For the high school, “quarterly exams are not going to happen,” Righi said. Students’ grades will be based on the marking period.
“We don’t know how we’ll make up the days,” Cronin said, adding there has been talk that Gov. Chris Christie might make allowances because of the disaster.
Voting will take place in the usual polling places on Tuesday, Election Day, said Borough Clerk Allyson Cinquergana. Sea Bright residents will be able to cast their ballots in the borough, she said.
Halloween will be delayed until a later date. “We feel it’s safer to wait,” Casagrande said.
Fire Chief Bill Heath reminded residents that there are still live wires in the area. “Be careful,” he said. “It’s still a dangerous environment.”
Chief Darryl Breckenridge said the police department has responded to 173 patrol calls, 35 fire and first aid calls and roughly 400 to500 other calls.
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