In a brief, heated meeting at the Holmdel Community Center Sunday afternoon, Mayor Patrick Impreveduto loudly voiced his frustration to more than 100 bundled-up residents about being disconnected from the grid in greater Holmdel
He had to bellow because there was no electricity to power a microphone. There weren't any lights in the dark hall either. For Holmdel residents, especially those who depended on electricity to pump well water, the whole sorry situation was not acceptable. And all his complaints after the same thing last year, after Hurricane Irene, seemed to have made no difference, he said.
"I am one mayor in a small town in JCPL's scope," he said. "I got the biggest mouth, but it isn't doing me any good."
On Sunday the mayor was one of 4,631 residents out of 6,850 in Holmdel -- the unlucky 68% -- who have been listening with envy on how the heat is coming on in sections of neighboring Hazlet and Middletown.
JCP&L has projected that by day's end, 509 residents would have power restored, and by Monday, another 973 would have power. The following streets were on the short list: Chippewa Court, Laurel Avenue, Mill Road, Route 35, Van Brackle and Union Avenue.
[Editor's Note: By midnight, JCP&L reported that power had been restored to all but 1,921 residents out of 6,850, leaving 28% without power.]
"While I fully understand JCPL’s protocol of taking care of the masses of people first, I don’t think its right," said he mayor after the meeting. "Holmdel streets were clean, ready to go, just two days after the storm."
He said during the heated Q & A he gathered some good ideas from residents and intends to follow up with at least one person, a Holmdel property owner with a leadership role in the utility industry.
The mayor thought the meeting was good therapy for all involved. "People got a chance to vent. I think they needed it."
Residents also heard from Dept. of Public Works Director Jeff Smith and the Police Chief John Mioduszewski, who talked about their staffs' considerable contributions during the difficult Hurricane Sandy crisis.