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Essex County to President Obama: We Need Fuel

Essex County executive and Gov. Chris Christie have conference call with President Barack Obama post-Sandy.

According to one elected official, one positive development in the aftermath of post-Sandy is the partnership between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

On Thursday, two days since Hurricane Sandy tore through the Northeast devastating parts of New Jersey, the two leaders had a conference call. Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., said he was part of the call and said the federal government has been receptive to the state's needs.

"I was thanking the president and the governor for their leadership," said DiVincenzo, whose county largely remains without power. "The governor's staff has been extraordinary. It's been a great partnership."

DiVincenzo said besides pledging help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose representatives have already arrived in New Jersey, the county executive said the president was receptive to the county's other need: more gasoline.

"We need fuel here," he said he told the leaders. "There are a lot of people on generators, including hospitals and emergency services."

DiVincenzo said a lack of electrical power has limited the number of gas stations that can pump gas. "We have long lines throughout the county of people trying to get fuel."

The county executive had a piece of advice for residents: Conserve as much fuel as possible until we get the power on.

Though power restoration seems to be eeking along at a snail's pace, he said on Thursday the number of people without power was reduced from 270,000 to 133,000. "We're moving in the right direction," he said. "(Still) all towns have power outages."

DiVincenzo said he's had daily meetings with the power companies that serve Essex County and even though they are working around the clock, many essential services are relying on generators.

In other county news, the shelter at Codey Arena has been moved to the education building at Turtle Back Zoo. Residents are welcome to come to the zoo to stay warm, he said. On Thursday, there were 15 people at the shelter.

DiVincenzo also said the county was still trying to assess the extent of the damage countywide. County parks remained closed for safety reasons and repairs were needed to the roof of the Veterans Courthouse, which blew off during the storm. In addition, he said the ziplining course at the zoo was destroyed and several trees also fell at the zoo.

However, he said county buildings had reopened to serve the public.

Dave November 02, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Get the power on! If there's power three blocks from me a day shouldn't pass without me having it! Yet that's what is happening.
Concerned Citizen November 02, 2012 at 04:35 PM
People have had power on the street next to me since day one and not one of them have offered to help their fellow neighbors. We're freezing and we're tired of eating bread and chips. This is America!! What is going on here? We live in one of the wealthiest areas of the country and yet we're being treated as though we're not even citizens. If this is how bad it gets for one hurricane, what will it be like when the big snow hits?
Lori November 02, 2012 at 08:12 PM
We are without power as well. But they are working on it everyone!! I know how frustrating it is cause I'm dealing with it too. There are people around my area that have power. It all depends on where the problem is on whether or not you or your neighbor has power. One hurricane could have done a hell of a lot worse than it has. Look at all the people who have lost homes or loved ones! I would say being in the cold a little longer than my neighbor is not so bad. Shame on the one's who aren't so helpful for those like us who don't have power. It's sad to see people panic and be so selfish all around us. Let's not yet worry about the big snow...lets get through today!!
STEVE DUNCAN November 02, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I don't fault those who have but do not share. It's just bad upbringing. However I went on to Hotels.com to book a room from my brother who lives in Maplewood and is still without power. The Capri Inn was $910/tax included for one night! REALLY! It seems people have no conscience! I hope for the sake of all whom are suffering in Maplewood that power is restored sooner than later! God speed

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