Chatham Borough Police Chief Philip J. Crosson and Chatham Township Mayor Nicole Hagner appealed to residents to stay home during Hurricane Sandy.
"Everyone staying indoors is a great help to us because it helps us to get to the things that we have to," Crosson said. "Schools are closed, I'm sure businesses will be closed. People should stay indoors."
Borough and township offices will also be closed Mondays. The Library of the Chathams and schools within the School District of the Chathams will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
Many downed trees and tree limbs may also become tangled with power lines, which pose a threat to pedestrians and vehicles.
"Stay away from downed wires, report them when you see them," Crosson said.
Hagner said trash pick-up in Chatham Township is still scheduled for Monday, as far as she knows.
The Chatham Township Police Department will be open Monday as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In Chatham Borough, Crosson said the EOC may open Monday and will remain open for the duration of the storm.
After a Hurricane
Fire departments in both towns will pump out basements for free, but not until after the rain stops. If rising water in basements threatens utilities, residents should call 911.
Because of the threat of widespread and prolonged power outages, officials will open charging stations for residents to power up computers and cell phones after the hurricane. In the borough, the charging stations will be:
- The Library of the Chathams
- The Chatham Emergency Squad building on North Passaic Avenue
- The Chatham Borough Fire Department on Firehouse Plaza
In Chatham Township, available charging stations after the storm will be:
- The Chatham Club on Southern Boulevard. Hagner said the club will open as soon as it is safe for their employees to commute.
Crosson said residents should be patient with utility companies following the hurricane.
"I think people need to recognize that when there are power outages, it doesn’t mean they’re going to see a JCP&L truck in a half hour. They won’t put anybody up on those lines until they feel it’s safe," Crosson said.
After Hurricane Irene in August 2011, some Chatham residents went five days without power. The utility company will restore power to hospitals and municipal buildings before residential neighborhoods.
"[Residents are] going to have to be patient with the power outages and JCP&L will get to them as quickly and safely as they can," Crosson said.
The township will utilize a reverse-911 call system to notify residents of any pertinent information.