Stanhope works through weather complications

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:08

    Stanhope — A generator was providing electricity for Stanhope Borough's council meeting on Nov. 1, following the nor’easter that paralyzed many municipalities in the state in late October. Administrator Brian McNeilly at the time reported that 60 percent of Stanhope Borough remained without power. Stanhope's Office of Emergency Management officials conducted welfare checks on residents. Officials were especially concerned on the cold nights of Oct. 30 and 31. Residents were invited to use borough hall during operating hours as a warming station and to charge their cell phones. Many residents stayed with family or friends with power or at local hotels. “Every generator we own is running," said McNeilly. "We’re refueling them continually.” A spokesperson from JCP&L, and later the company’s president, remained in contact with Mayor Diana Kuncken to provide updates about power restoration. Kuncken said she was in touch with JCP&L 2-3 times daily. As of Nov. 1, Kuncken was informed that 95 percent of the borough would have power restored by last Thursday, with the additional 5 percent being restored by last Friday. “It’s very difficult to ask them to pin a particular day, it’s Tuesday, and it’s still dark,” Kuncken said. “I was told if we’re lucky, it will be Wednesday.” In the days following the storm the DPW spent time clearing and chipping brush and removing damaged trees, which could further damage power lines or cause other harm. Power restored Stanhope’s power was restored for most residents by 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and the remaining 150 homes by Friday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. McNeilly said whether related or unrelated to the storm, the power went out again on Sunday, Nov. 6, for one hour. The outage may have been due to post-storm damage repairs. “There was a raw nerve on that,” said McNeilly, as residents adjusted to their return of power only days earlier. In addition to an increase in brush cleanup, Stanhope is in the midst of their regular fall leaf cleanup. “We’ll be picking up brush for quite a while," said McNeilly. "They’re making headway, it was an overwhelming storm for everybody." In other business Patricia Barry of Dell Road thanked McNeilly, DPW Supervisor Bill Storms, Borough Engineer Eric Keller, and the council for their attention to the flooding situation on Dell Road. One of the issues McNeilly, Keller and Storms found was the need to take out the vegetation and garbage that has washed down through the woods from Sagamore Road, and to continue to ensure the channel is defined properly to allow the water to drain. Barry said her husband has cleaned the drain of debris occasionally over the years they lived there. The council suggested using the Sussex County’s Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP) for cleanup efforts.