Fort Lee Mayor Meets With PSE&G President, Curfew Changed [Updated]
With as many as 5,000 customers still without power in Fort Lee, Mayor Mark Sokolich delivered a list of all the areas in town needing to be restored. He also said the pedestrian curfew is now 8 p.m. so people can vote.
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 7:15 p.m. Monday.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich met with the president of PSE&G Monday afternoon—a meeting he said was arranged by State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37), who will also be present—to give him a list of all the areas in Fort Lee that remain without power.
Sokolich said earlier in the day that the meeting with PSE&G president and CEO Ralph LaRossa was “not going to be a pleasant one.”
“I don’t know how productive it was for Fort Lee, per se, but I’m appreciative of anyone that faces the music, so to speak,” Sokolich said after the meeting, adding that he confirmed that work orders are in for what he called “critical buildings” and circuit breakers that need to be fixed.
Although Sokolich said LaRossa couldn’t provide him with an update on a timeframe for restoring full power to the borough other than that he was told “it should be very shortly,” he also said, “I know it’s a full-court press to get it done.”
“I didn’t really get the answers that I wanted to hear,” Sokolich said, noting that he is still without power himself. “But I’m convinced [Fort Lee] is an absolute priority, and we’re doing everything we can.”
Earlier in the day, Sokolich said he planned to "personally" deliver a list "of every area" in Fort Lee that still didn't have power.
The mayor said Gov. Christie directed mayors to open schools, but that he can’t in Fort Lee until power is restored to all of them.
“Right now we’re looking at 50 percent of these public schools are down,” Sokolich said Monday before the meeting. “PSE&G has not, as far as I’m concerned, said anything yet. They’ve not confirmed that these downed wires are permanently off, so even if all the schools regain power, I have difficulty having these kids get back to school, knowing these wires are where they are.”
The mayor added, “We’re hopeful that will change within the next 24 hours.”
Fort Lee Superintendent of Schools Steven Engravalle emphasized Sunday that school officials were also “hopeful” they could open schools on Wednesday.
According to PSE&G’s online Outage Center, as many as 5,000 customers in Fort Lee remained in the dark as of Monday evening.
Sokolich also said Monday that effective immediately, the curfew he imposed on pedestrian travel in the borough as part of his state of emergency declaration has been moved from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., especially in light of Election Day Tuesday.
“For those people that are abiding by it, I don’t want them not to be able to vote because they can’t get there before 6 p.m.,” Sokolich said, adding that the 8 p.m. curfew would remain in place until further notice.