While the destruction is not on the scale of Coney Island, Staten Island, or Breezy Point, New Jersey continues to labor to recover from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. In the areas closest to NYC, many residents of Hoboken and Jersey City remain without power, water, gas, or heat.
One blogger wrote of the situation on Thursday:
Dear Followers, I miss you all. I havent had power in 5 days. Im okay, just a little stressed about the situation. Im in Hoboken NJ, and the flood waters destroyed about half of the cities homes. Please if youre in the area donate blankets, food, anything to help. Many have lost everything, and Ive watched it happen first hand. Watched them return to their evcauated homes to find them neck high in water. Please, help.
Here's a roundup of the major issues facing Hoboken and Jersey City residents:
Curfews: Jersey City seems to remains under a 7PM to 7AM pedestrian and vehicle curfew, originally described as being necessary to keep the road clear for emergency responders. While the city continues to threaten to issue summons, many area businesses with power are choosing to remain open past it. A similar curfew was issued in Hoboken on October 29th, but has since expired.
Electric and Gas: While PSEG remains working around the clock to restore service to all customers, 57% of Hoboken and 31% Jersey City are still without power as of the utility's last update. PSEG is now predicting a full restoration of service by November 9th, adding "THE MAJORITY OF CUSTOMERS WILL BE RESTORED BEFORE THEN." City Hall in Jersey City remains dark, as utility workers seem hesitant to restore power until the building can be fully checked out - particularly after a two alarm fire Saturday morning.
Gas supplies are (unsurprisingly) dwindling around the area, and Governor Christie made an executive order for even/odd gas rationing (based on last digit in the license plate) in 12 counties. Predictably, the order has caused confusion and done little to abate long lines and frustration.
Food: Hoboken has six locations where supplies are being distributed - the Mayor's office has recommended that residents "bring shopping carts, bags, or backpacks to carry supplies back". A number of food trucks have also descended on Church Square Park to distribute free meals today. In Jersey City, meals were being distributed at the Boys & Girls Club as well as the Webb Park Pool.
Mass Transit: NY Waterway has resumed normal weekend and weekday ferry service, although the Port Liberte station in Jersey City remains closed due to damage. NJ Transit has resumed service on four train lines and 90% of their buses. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail remains suspended.
The Port Authority remains frustratingly silent about what's going on with the PATH system. The last update, provided Saturday at 6:40 PM, is vague enough to leave some area residents whispering that restoration may take up to a month:
Due to widespread flooding in the PATH tunnels and multiple stations, as well as power outages that have shut down signals and switches, PATH rail service continues to be suspended. PATH engineers, staff and third party contractors are working around-the-clock with the goal of resuming partial service between New Jersey and New York as soon as safely possible.
Voting: New Jersey has also made accommodations for voting in this Tuesday's election for those displaced by the storm. Email and fax voting is available—ballots must be returned no later than Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Early voting remains available at all county election offices from 8:30 to 4:30 throughout the weekend. Some robocalls have gone out alerting residents to these changes, which is more than we can say for NYC, where all that's gone out is this El Bloombito tweet.