A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update - Election Day 2012

Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) has been restoring power in Hazlet and Keyport, both east of Aberdeen and Matawan, but so far we're still waiting. Rumor is that power is due in the next day or two, but there's no firm information yet. Matawan residents held a big meeting at St Clement's to discuss the power situation, but JCP&L didn't attend so I doubt anything was resolved except to be upset and frustrated. Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach residents are just hunkered down, hoping that rumors of month-long delays in power aren't true.

When you cross Matawan Creek on Route 35 at night heading north, the place is totally dark. Major intersections are uncontrolled. Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach residents not only have no heat or lights, there are no traffic signals. Cliffwood Avenue has cones and signs forcing you to head north several miles to the Morgan drawbridge at Cheesequake Creek, where you can finally make a U-turn. When there was a long line to get gas at the Wawa station at Cliffwood Avenue, I had to exit onto Route 35 North and make a six mile detour to get home. Amboy Avenue intersection is a bit more serious, with two school buses blocking vehicles from crossing Route 35. I guess some folks misbehaved. Suffice it to say that it's super dangerous to cross the highway at an uncontrolled intersection on Route 35. I encourage you not to try it.

We went out to Holmdel on Route 35 South and had dinner at Chili's last night. We waited 40 minutes for a table and the place was beyond jammed. People were there with their kids dressed in Halloween costumes -- Monday was the official holiday this year. Route 35 is alive and well from Home Depot in Keyport to Holmdel. A guy in line at Wawa told me on Monday that the lights are on to Middletown on Route 35 and to Atlantic Highlands on Route 36, but his statements are of unknown reliability.

We found Optimum Online hotspots near the Staples and McDonald's in Hazlet and in downtown Keyport on West Front Street. We've been visiting Espresso Joe's for internet and power, but we've been buying stuff to support the shop for its kindness. McDonald's in Hazlet has its own internet service but no outlets. We found the Optimum service stronger when we sat in our car with our laptops.

We've been blessed with friends who've helped us with our electric line that came down, a bow saw to deal with a down tree, and a generator to help with the dark and cold nights. The Southern Baptist Convention has sent its Yard By Yard teams into Cliffwood Beach to help with downed trees, another blessing. They're based out of the New Monmouth Baptist Church in Middletown. Give them a call at 732-671-5998 and they'll fill out a work order and see if they can help you with downed trees or removing mud and debris from your basement and yard. The lady I spoke with today said there are a hundred Baptists here from Oklahoma helping the Bayshore. Her team would be here until Nov 16th but more teams would be coming.

We voted this morning at One Aberdeen Square. Parking is a bit of an issue but the cops are there to direct the festivities. With seven districts voting there, it should get interesting as the day goes along. Best advice is to get in and get out quick so others can vote. Remember in Aberdeen to vote for Art Perri as a write in candidate for the Aberdeen slot on the school board. And remember the two referendum items. I'm recommending No votes on each, but do what you feel is best.

Be kind to your neighbors in this time of struggle. And be patient as you can.


  1. Pat - Did you get power back yet? We're in the I-district of Aberdeen near Shop Rite and a few houses got power back tonight. Harold

  2. We got power back in Cliffwood Beach a little at a time. The Strathmore alphabet has been getting power back the same way. Presumably most have power back by now. The lack of information about JFP&L's plans has been the hardest part of this ordeal, besides the storm itself.