Cumberland County Department of Health wants residents to throw out food that sat in non-operating refrigerators and freezers for any length of time.
Vineland officials said residents — but not businesses — can dispose of spoiled food at Dumpsters at the city’s public works yard at 1086 E. Walnut Road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Thursday.
“Food safety during a power outage is always a concern,” Cumberland County spokesman Troy Ferus said. “Don’t take any chances. When in doubt, throw it out.”
County officials said supplies of bottled water and basic foodstuffs — everything from pancake mix to bacon — that ran short when residents flocked to stores immediately after the storm are restocked.
“Bottled water is available in most stores,” Ferus said.
About 15,000 homes residents were without electricity Tuesday.
Atlantic City Electric reported that more than 11,200 of its Cumberland County customers remain without power. The company is calling its customers, saying it hopes to restore power by the end of today.
Officials with the Vineland Municipal Electric Utility said about 4,000 of its almost 25,000 customers remain without power. VMEU officials again said it could be days before power is completely restored as extensive debris is slowing the repair work. They said VMEU work crews are being aided by staff from other utility companies.
Power also remain out at Parvin State Park, where two campers — including a 7-year-old Millville boy — were killed when the 25-foot top of a pine tree fell on their tent when Saturday’s storm blew through the Salem County facility.
Officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection said the park is closed indefinitely as work crews conduct that they called a “massive cleanup effort.” The work crews are removing hundreds of toppled trees that blocked roads and trails, damaged cabins and downed power lines, they said.
Meanwhile, cooling centers and shelters remain open for residents whose homes lost power or who can not cope with another day of temperatures in the 90s.
Cooling centers are open in Millville at the First Presbyterian Church at 119 E. Pine Street and St. John Bosco Roman Catholic Church at West Main Street and Hillcrest Avenue.
Millville Office of Emergency Management Director Sherman Taylor said the centers, which are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., will remain operational through the July 4th holiday for people to escape the heat, get water and recharge cell phones. The city will make a decision on whether to keep the centers open for additional days based on attendance, he said.
The county’s only full storm shelter, located at the Thomas Wallace Middle School on Mill Road in Vineland and operated by the Red Cross, remains open.
States of emergency declarations issued by Vineland and Cumberland County government after the store are still in effect.
Cumberland County Office of Emergency Management Director Joseph Severs said municipalities are still providing preliminary damage estimates. Severs said initial estimates were already sent to the state, but he would not provide those figures.
However, Severs called the damage in parts of the county “significant,” saying that Vineland and its immediate surrounding areas were possibly hit hardest.
Vineland officials said the city suffered about $100 million in damage to public and private properties. Vineland closed Giampietro, Landis, Pagliughi and West Earl Drive parks because of potential safety problems caused by significant damage at those city facilities.
Damage in the rest of the county was essentially “hit and miss,” Severs said.
For instance, Downe Township suffered little damage, he said. The Laurel Lake section of Commercial Township incurred significant damage, but not other parts of the municipality, he said.
“It all depended on where the storm went,” Severs said.
Cleanup continues, and some roads in the county remain closed.
Several busy intersections in the county that were regulated by traffic signals are now governed by temporary four-way stops. The county placed stop signs at those intersections because there is no electricity to power the traffic signals.
“There are a lot of new traffic patterns, and residents need to be observant,” said Cumberland County Freeholder Tony Surace, who chairs the board’s Public Works Committee.
The county also has three wood chippers operating to help clear trees, brush and other debris,” Ferus said.
“Everyone is pulling together and we are making progress,” Cumberland County Freeholder Director Carl Kirstein said. “Recovery is underway, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Roads that remain closed include:
- Jericho Road in Stow Creek Township between Cook and Roadstown roads.
- Macanipuck Road in Stow Creek Township between Buckhorn and Roadstown roads.
- Silver Lake Road in Upper Deerfield Township between Holding and DuBois roads.
- Brewster Road in Vineland between Maple and Landis avenues.
- Route 553 in Fairfield Township between Route 49 and Buckshutem Road.
- Kenyon Avenue in Deerfield Township between Sherman Avenue and Lebanon Road.
- East Point Road in Maurice River Township.
Pine View Terrace in Hopewell Township.
Weymouth Road in Vineland between West Avenue and the boulevard.
Irving Avenue in Deerfield Township between Nabb and East avenues.
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