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Township Officials Pushing For Emergency Generators

No more reliance on outside shelters, mayor says

 When Hurricane Sandy hit, Berkeley residents who needed shelter had to travel to Toms River, Pinelands Regional High School or Barnegat Middle School for refuge.

But as the shelter at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River High School North filled to capacity, some Berkeley residents had no place to go.

It's a situation Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. doesn't want to see happen again.

"Some residents were turned away at the Pine Belt Arena," Amato said at the Dec. 11 Township Council meeting. "It forced us into opening up an emergency shelter."

No more, Amato said.

Township officials are moving to purchase several emergency generators that could be used in different sections of Berkeley as needed, he said at the Dec. 11 Township Council meeting.

"We don't want to rely on other entities to take care of our residents," the mayor said. "We will be self-contained."

When the Pine Belt Arena filled up at the height of the storm, St. Maximilian Kolbe R.C. Church in the western section of Berkeley was opened up as an emergency shelter because it was the only space in town with a generator.

But the church had no beds and no kitchen facilities for storm refugees.

Three of the new generators will be portable and can be moved from place to place as needed. The fourth will be permanently installed, probably at the Berkeley Township Elementary School or Central Regional High School.

The township will be going out to bid for the generators, Amato said tonight.

"We are finalizing the plan," he said. "We put some money aside in the 2012 capital bond ordinance to pay for it. We will be self-sufficient in the future. We will be able to provide for our own residents - shelters, heating and cooling stations. We will be ready."

foggyworld December 14, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Maybe the homeowners in the potential flood spots ought to purchase their own generators. They aren't that expensive and there is no need to spend even more money when the threat is there that everyone's taxes are going to be replaced. Some things come to homeowners as responsibilities of their own.
Poindexter McSmash December 14, 2012 at 02:39 PM
And also, we need emergency generators for the gas stations as well. Then we can avoid the apocalypse line of angry people trying to get gas for their own house generators. Of course you would think that all of the emergency agencies out there would have thought of this by now? ~ Have a nice day! ~
Anonymous December 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM
To foggy world- don't you think a home generator is moot of you have to be evacuated?
Robert Murdock December 14, 2012 at 07:42 PM
The Mayor is talking about generators to be used at shelters in Berkeley, not private residences. Berkeley is one of the few townships in Ocean County that do not have generators for their schools or any other facility that could be used for shelters.
stanley zalewski December 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
The town should always have generators reguardless of weather. Lose of power we are helpless?

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