Opening the Thursday, Nov. 1 township committee meeting, Mayor Raymond Chintall had many thanks and praise for the number of volunteers and officials who lent a hand in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, along with providing an overview of the damage within the township.
Although a devastating and destructive force in other parts of the state, Chintall announced that not a single township building, structure, field or vehicle sustained any damage, and there had been no breach in the township‘s water supply. Most importantly, there were no reports of an injury to a single resident during the storm.
“For us, as residents of West Deptford Township, we are fortunate and blessed by the minimal effect of Hurricane Sandy,” said Chintall.
Though the community experienced downed trees, phone poles, phone lines and power, Chintall stated that this "paled in comparison to the destruction of the hurricane, that devastated towns throughout the state." Chintall went on to remind the residents of West Deptford to keep those who lost everything in their thoughts.
“The West Deptford government was as prepared as a municipality can be,” said Chintall.
In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, several meetings between Chintall and department heads, including the township administrator, police chief, OEM coordinator and deputy mayor, helped to coordinate emergency plans.
In addition, all township committee members visited the Red Cross shelter, set up in West Deptford High School. The shelter, housed approximately 40 people as the storm passed through on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Speaking highly of the American Red Cross and their efforts in West Deptford, Chintall encouraged residents to volunteer with the organization or donate if they could not find the time. Chintall also expressed intentions of coordinating an organized relief effort, which would help to raise money for the American Red Cross and other similar agencies.
During the meeting the township passed a resolution to amend the special curfew—originally intended for mischief night and Halloween, to be moved to Nov. 4 and Nov. 5. Chintall cited the executive order from Governor Chris Christie as an explanation for the postponement.
In addition, Chintall also announced to residents Christie’s latest executive order which places limitations on water usage throughout the state. The order calls for minimum water usage among residents and businesses in order to secure a water supply across New Jersey. Any person who is found to violate the order can be subjected to a penalty. Chintall agreed that a link for the entire ordinance would be posted on the township’s website, following a suggestion by Township Administrator Eric Campo.
“We should proceed promptly through the agenda, so we can go home, be thankful, appreciate what we have, be compassionate and understanding, say a prayer or a moment of silence and convey that to all of our family members,” said Chintall.
With very little on the agenda, the township committee adjourned the meeting only 40 minutes after it began—a marked changed from recent hours-long meetings. The bulk of the meeting provided the members of the committee with an opportunity to thank certain individuals who played a part in preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy.