Upper Milford Township Manager Dan DeLong says township residents are coping well in the days following Hurricane Sandy.
Extended power outages are nothing new for township residents, and quite a few own generators to help them get through periods without electricity, he says.
In total, 12 trees fell on homes within the township and there is damage because of wind, but no one in Upper Milford has been seriously hurt because of the storm. At daybreak Tuesday, after Sandy had moved on to greener pastures, there were more roads closed than open in Upper Milford, DeLong said.
And yet, even with all of this, DeLong says one of the bigger challenges in weathering the aftermath of Sandy has been the failure of communication services such as telephones, cell phones, cable and Internet.
This has meant that township public works employees working to clean things up post-Sandy have resorted to communicating from truck to truck by radio. “We’ve had cell only periodically,” DeLong says. “We’ve had a hard time getting messages. There’s been nobody in the township building. Our guys have only been working in daylight hours to be sure that nobody gets hurt.”
Electric service returned at the Upper Milford Township Building about 7 p.m. Wednesday, which meant that the township opened up for business Thursday morning and that the Upper Milford Township Board of Supervisors held its regularly scheduled meeting last night.
The board meets twice a month, on the first and third Thursdays, in the township building.
With many Upper Milford residents hopeful that their electric service would be back at 11 last night, and still others facing rumored return more than two weeks away, DeLong encourages Upper Milford residents to continue working together in the face of adversity and not to shy away from admitting they need assistance.
“If anybody needs help,” he says, “don’t be afraid to call 911 to ask. We have had people who were hurt and didn’t call because they didn’t feel theirs was a true emergency.
“It is what it is. People shouldn’t be falling and not being able to walk and not calling an ambulance because they are not dying.
“And, be sure to check on your neighbors. If you haven’t seen a neighbor in a day or two, go and knock on the door and make sure he is OK,” DeLong says.