Sandy’s Arrival, Aftermath Top Local News
The Week in Review: a weekly roundup of top local news stories on Fort Lee Patch. This week, it was all about Sandy.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said borough officials were “as ready as we can possibly be,” but that damage, possible blackouts and dangerous conditions were inevitable.
Fire Chief Keith Sabatino cautioned residents to stay inside, as Sanday arrived, saying, "downed wires and fallen trees make for extremely dangerous conditions."
The Fort Lee Mayor and Council issued an emergency declaration Tuesday, which included a curfew and suspension of Halloween activities like trick-or-treating. Fort Lee police also urged residents to stay off the roads.
In the aftermath of Sandy, Fort Lee found its streets littered with downed trees, wires and telephone poles. From the Junction at the base of Abbot Boulevard north to Coytesville, large large portions of the town are without power.
A charging center has been set up at the Jack Alter Fort Lee Community Center for residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy, as an estimated 70 percent of the town remained without power Wednesday, officials said.
After cancelling school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Fort Lee school officials said schools would be closed for the rest of the week, as the borough and the school system begin the recovery process in the aftermath of the storm. Superintendent Steven Engravalle said all of Fort Lee’s public schools sustained some form of damage from the storm except for School No. 4.
Thursday evening was supposed to be the last chance for voters to hear from the candidates running for the Fort Lee Board of Education, but the United Republican Club of Fort Lee-sponsored debate had to be cancelled because there was no venue available.
Although borough officials and the Fort Lee Police Department asked people to stay home, many were out Thursday trying to find a place and waiting in long lines to gas up their cars or fill their gas cans, as extra police patrols tried to maintain order.
A New York man allegedly assaulted a Fort Lee police officer at a gas station on Bergen Boulevard early Friday morning, becoming "enraged" after learning the station might be out of gas by the time he made it to the front of the line.
Officials may have to use generators to power a few of the borough’s polling locations for the election on Tuesday, but as of Friday, they said people in Fort Lee would vote where they normally vote even though Bergen County relocated 153 polling stations in 36 other towns.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said Friday that power was slowly returning, and that the only roads that were closed were those with trees intertwined with wires that can’t be removed until PSE&G says the wires are no longer live.
At 505 North Ave., a 19-story complex that holds approximately 500 individuals, aged 57 to 102, seniors lost heat, electricity and all power, even the ability to cook on stoves, as the ones available there are electric. In the aftermath of Sandy, getting seniors’ needs recognized as a priority was a problem, but that may be changing.
The Week in Review appears every Sunday on Fort Lee Patch.