If you've got lights, consider yourself one of the lucky few.
In Red Bank and Shrewsbury, mass outages are still the norm as officials, much of their information coming from Jersey Central Power and Light, have been reluctant to set any time tables for power restoration.
Both in Red Bank and Shrewsbury, JCP&L is reporting reduced numbers of outages with 4,011 and 1,961 customers still without power as of 2 p.m., respectively. That's a decrease of nearly 2,000 Red Bank customers without power and a small reduction in the numbers of Shrewsbury residents without power.
Power has been restored in some parts of Red Bank thanks to a concerted effort to get Riverview Medical Center back on line. With returning power to the Red Bank hospital a priority, JCP&L reportedly activated a section of the power grid that includes the hospital and parts of the downtown, including borough hall on Monmouth Street, parts of Front Street, and parts of White Street. A few stores had power on Broad Street, though overall power restoration downtown seems to be sporadic at best.
News regarding restoration of power for the rest of Red Bank and Shrewsbury is less welcome. According to JCP&L, power restoration for some residents could come within a week but for others in harder hit areas it could take as long as two weeks. Though Red Bank and Shrewsbury weren't particularly badly hit, in many places trees that took down power lines and poles remain untouched three days after Sandy's arrival as local Department of Public Works crews have been told to wait for the power company to arrive, something that hasn't happened yet.
As both Red Bank and Shrewsbury get back to work, planning is underway for the longterm effects of Sandy. In Red Bank, Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Tommy Welsh said he and the rest of the borough staff have had to start preparing and developing plans well down the line. Issues as seemingly unimportant as where visitors are going to spend their holidays - with shore downs still likely to be recovering from Sandy during the Holiday season Red Bank could find itself host to more visitors and events - are something to consider as time goes on.
Still, while many resident are still without power, there are ways to beat the boredom. Downtown Red Bank Thursday night was especially active with residents walking about in search of a bite to eat out or just enjoying the weather on a pleasant day.