Update: Temporarily displaced families return home
UPDATE: There is still a hotspot being attended to by our fire department, and tonight the site will be secured with fencing. In total, firefighters have been onsite for more than 75 hours. Blackwell St. will reopen tomorrow at 8 am to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
The Mayor and Town officials met twice with affected property owners to discuss tenants, businesses, insurance, and remediation. All electricity and gas have been restored, and each building in the area has been deemed safe for reentry. As of early this evening residents and business owners were cleared to return to their homes and stores. New Jersey Natural Gas sent six trucks and JCP&L deployed four crews to work on restoring gas and power. An impressive show of manpower and responsiveness by both utility companies.
The shelter remains open for the displaced families whose homes were destroyed. The Red Cross remains on site and managing the temporary shelter. Today representatives from Congressman Leonard Lance's office visited the families to provide aid. Local, county and state agencies continued their work on site as well. Assembly Anthony M. Bucco visited the shelter to meet with volunteers, Red Cross members, and families.
As of the time of this updated post, more than $8,200 was raised on the Dover Rotary’s gofundme.com site. In addition, several local organizations are planning fundraisers to collect additional funds. Please keep checking the Town's social media sites and webpage for more information regarding fundraising activities.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen thank everyone who has donated and offered their services. There were a lot of hugs and tears of joy at the shelter from the families returning home tonight. Many praised the Mayor and his administration's efforts and ability to coordinate the expedited restoration. They lauded the Red Cross for their selfless dedication and caregiving. They also expressed appreciation for the amazing outpouring of love and generosity by the Dover and at-large community. While many have left the shelter and returned home, we now continue to focus on those who lost everything. The Mayor, Town, Red Cross, and non-profits are all committed to assisting displaced residents, business owners and employees who lost their jobs in any way possible. Today was a good day, but much work is still ahead.
Tonight we close with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce used on a fundraising flyer for our fire recovery: "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
Once again, Thank You All!! #Doverstrong
BTW tonight we hosted movie night for the families, and Walmart of Rockaway donated all the treats and movies...plus they have a collection bin near the exit for shoppers wishing to donate items.