Cranford officials have asked the state of New Jersey and PSE&G to give Cranford "priority status" as residents begin the daunting task of asessing the damage to their homes and cleaning the mess left in Hurrican Irene's wake.
Mayor Dan Aschenbach spent the majority of his time late Sunday and Monday touring the township to assist with cleanup and rescue efforts.
"I just toured substation and PSE&G is there working on the problem but it is a difficult problem," Aschenbach said early Monday. "The drying process could take days. Several PSE&G workers are Cranford residents and are working at this to get this back as soon as possible. We have asked the state and PSE&G for priority status."
Cranford was among the hardest-hit municipalities in the state when Irene plowed through the region. Several streets in the township remain underwater, many residents are still displaced and numerous businesses remain closed.
For those who have already started to haul bulk items from their flood-damaged homes, Aschenbach said the debris can be placed at the curb and the township "will have garbage service to haul it away." He said the town also hopes to have volunteers in the neighborhoods to help with the cleanup.
Workers are also at Brookside Place School, working to remove water that flooded the building during the weekend storm. Superintendent Gayle Carrick said that for the most part, the schools held up well during the hurricane.
"The majority of the schools are in good shape," Carrick said Monday. "Brookside took on some water," she said.