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Officials: Crisis Map To Help Mahwah Residents Recover From Sandy

Plus, the township will continue offering cell phone charging stations and text message updates

As Mahwah residents are recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the township has launched an online crisis map that officials say will help residents alert the town to areas affected by the storm.

The map, which can be accessed from the Mahwah Police website, allows users to pinpoint streets, and identify where there are downed trees, damaged phone poles, downed wires, and road blockages.

Residents can upload descriptions of the damage, and photos, to the map.

Mayor Bill Laforet says the map will not only alert officials to problem areas of the township, but will also be a way for the township to communicate to residents which areas have been cleared.

“People need live, real-time information,” he said. “People can actually watch the map as it gets updated.”

The community seems to be responding to the reporting method. According to Laforet, an hour after the township sent out a text message alert about the crisis map Tuesday, there were 31 spots marked on the map.

Mahwah’s Department of Public Works will begin tree debris and leaf pick-up Wednesday. 

Residents are being encouraged to put tree debris and leaves on the curb. Since many of the downed trees in the township are tangled with electrical wires, they will be removed in coordination with Orange & Rockland’s power restoration efforts, officials said.

Also, throughout the storm’s recovery period, the township will continue to send updates to residents using the new Nixle text message alert system, and offer the Mahwah Police Station as a charging station for residents’ cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

The PD has been sending out Nixle alerts to let residents know when the charging station is open. To handle the demand for charging, the PD is allowing sections of the township to utilize the station during specified blocks of time. Police say the program has been very popular among residents.

The township is slowly getting back to normal, officials say. Town hall reopens and garbage pick-up resumes Wednesday. Recycling will be suspended Wednesday, as DPW workers are assigned to storm clean-up duties, instead.

"Updates will continue throughout the recovery process," Laforet said. "We are trying to make this process better and easier for residents, and technology is the way to do that."

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Text news tips to 201-706-1984, or email jessica.mazzola@patch.com. Get updates on the Mahwah Patch Facebook and Mahwah Patch Twitter.

Andy Schmidt October 31, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I know the PD and other emergency services can't bring the power back faster - but being in contact with staff and friends in other towns, they are amazed that at least in Mahwah, we keep getting text messages and email alerts from our town before the storm (generators had become available at Home Depot), during the storm as neighborhoods went out, impact and warning right after the storm, arranging a charging station per voting district, etc. It was reassuring and made us feel less isolated, while being trapped in our home, some unable to even get out of their local streets. Thanks you to our emergency services for organizing all that.
hsr October 31, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Thank you to all Mahwah PD,DPW, Ambulance Corps, Fire Dept, and the Rockland Electric workers during this terrible storm. Everyone stay safe and away from large trees if possible. Another reason not to privatize our depts. We all help each other and know the town.
Steven Sbarra October 31, 2012 at 10:12 PM
It always seems to be a terrible situation that brings the township of Mahwah together and that is what has happened again. Special thanks go out to all of the volunteers, the Mahwah PD, the DPW workers, fire dept and ambulance corp for all of their help in getting everyone back to some sort of normalcy. Once again, we will survive in Mahwah and that is what makes this a great place to live. Please continue to check in on your neighbors and make sure everyone is safe.
Pete Malvasi October 31, 2012 at 11:31 PM
This is really excellent. Township gets big accolades for this.
Mark Herrmann November 01, 2012 at 07:22 PM
In addition to pick up of debris, will the DPW be allowing folks to drop off brush at the recycle center?
Jessica Mazzola (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Mark -- I'm not sure, but I will find out and let you know asap.
Jessica Mazzola (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Just got this update from the DPW Director - We are not accepting any storm debris or leaves at the Public works Facility at this time. I'll update you if I hear that changes.
Anonymous! November 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Ramapo Brae Lane complex in Mahwah went thru the Entire storm with No Power Outages!!! The Next day O&R went on top of Stag Hill Rd to remove a tree down affecting some wires, Disconnected Power for Stag Hill as well as Ramapo Brae Lane and left!!! WHY should We in this Complex have to Suffer!!! Mayor you Need to Fix this and Fast!!!! Its Cold, No heat, Food is Spoiled and No Money to do Anything about it!!!!
Renee November 03, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Thank you for posting this. I live in the Brae as well and couldn't understand why we survived the storm only to lose power Tuesday after 5:00 PM. Seems that if they disconnected it so quickly, connecting it should be an easy fix. Incompetency at its very best!

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