TRENTON, N.J. – Three Republican lawmakers today called on Gov. Phil Murphy to send in the National Guard to help local communities recover. Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce and Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips questioned Murphy’s slow response to two recent nor’easters that left thousands without power and hundreds of stranded vehicles on North Jersey roadways.
“Gov. Murphy should have mobilized the National Guard to help local officials deal with these destructive storms,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “Thousands of North Jersey residents remained in the dark and cold even as yesterday’s nor’easter was bearing down on them.”
Rooney noted there were some 500 to 600 stranded vehicles blocking roadways in North Jersey last night and, as of this morning, more than 243,000 households have no power.
“Clearly JCP&L isn’t equipped to handle these outages,” continued Rooney. “With a possible third storm on the near horizon, the governor’s failure to activate the National Guard is troubling
The National Weather Service says another storm is possible next week, making it the third coastal storm in 10 days.
“There is great concern from municipal officials with roadways shutdown and continued power outages across Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties since Friday,” said DeCroce (R-Morris). The administration needs to provide greater resources to the municipalities in helping get residents out of their homes and into warming centers.
Currently JCP&L, with over 2, 000 workers, cannot access all the neighborhoods they need to get into,” DeCroce continued “The governor needs to strongly consider sending out members from the National Guard to help assist the communities. We need to address the current needs in the event another storm hits us possibly on Monday.”
DeCroce said a pileup on Rt. 10 yesterday left people stranded in their vehicles for hours.
Resources that would have been used to help plow Routes. 46, 80 and 287 were sent instead to deal with the accident.
“Storm response requires tenacious and persistent follow through from the administration,” said DePhillips (R-Bergen). “We have had 2 destructive and deadly storms in 5 days- and a third is on the horizon.”
“The administration can, and must, provide all available resources to the utilities and municipalities in our area so clean-up and power restoration can occur rapidly before another deadly storm hits us,” concluded DePhillips.
More than 320,000 homes and businesses lost power during the storm’s height. Friday’s nor’easter left 300,000 New Jerseyans without power. Areas of North Jersey received up to two feet of snow from yesterday’s storm.