A letter from Jefferson Township resident Tracy Monfre, which was sent to Governor Christie regarding the power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Can you please help me to understand how priorities are being set in
communities in regards to restoring power, in particular my community,
Jefferson Township, NJ.
Gov. Christie, we have now passed the 11-day mark with no power, no
heat, no running water and no generators. As the mother of two boys, 6
and 8, I understand the need to establish normalcy again.
There has been nothing normal about our lives for the past 11 days.
Normal is not boiling water to sit in three inches of water to bathe in a
home where the thermostat registers 40 degrees. Normal is not myself, my husband and our two boys going to bed at 6 p.m. (this was before daylights saving time) because we had no lights. Normal is not having to shop for meals twice a day, with most meals coming out of a can. (I didn’t mention my 8-year-olds preferred diet of hot dogs and pepperoni, which has been interrupted and now consist of pretzels, chips, applesauce and animal crackers. If you have ever had a picky eater this is not news to you).
Normal is not deciding to forgo the shelters, to bunk at a hotel for three
nights --not to mention the cost, as the sole financial supporter of
my family-- because of concerns relating to sexual predators and the
overall general unpredictable nature of people under stress (please
see any number of recent articles regarding community shootings).
My 6-year-old has Sickle Cell Disease, a blood disorder that has
compromised his immune system. I worry that a cold will produce a
fever, which will require a trip to the hospital. The last time Sam was
hospitalized it was for three days and doctors administered morphine for the
pain. He’s six years old!
Did I mentioned that most of my neighbors have power and that instead
of working on our road (which sits right above the high school), the
power company and the powers that be here in Jefferson have diverted
resources to the High School to prepare for tonight’s football game.
I have been in touch with our mayor and today I await a phone call to
get an update on our status.
Power crews were at the high school most of yesterday, while again I
understand and applaud the need to get schools back open, how many
resources were used to ensure that power was restored for tonight’s
Gov. Christie: I get it. Believe me. I have been patient. I
finally called JCP&L on Tuesday (Day 9) to inquiry about our status as I
saw our neighbors light up one-by-one.
I am all for getting back to normal, getting the kids back in school
and continuing to enjoy the Fall and pending Winter, so please help me
to understand how promoting and celebrating a high school football
game gets my family back to normal.