Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – Ocean County officials are asking Gov. Murphy to request the power companies reimburse citizens for the cost of food spoiled as a result of lengthy power outages since Tropical Storm Isaias hit the area on Aug. 4.
"When power outages go on for days, we cannot expect our residents, especially our senior citizens to go without some kind of reimbursement for food lost as a result of no electricity," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of Senior Services. "Many of our residents had stocked up on food because of the coronavirus pandemic and they are concerned about leaving their home to go to the food stores.
"Now all the additional money spent on the extra food is basically in the garbage and so many elderly people living on fixed incomes do not have the money to replace it," Vicari said. "We need the utility companies to step up and help out."
Food only last in a closed refrigerator for about 4 hours maybe 6 at best.
Vicari along with Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, addressed the issue with Gov. Murphy's staff earlier today.
While power outages continue to be widespread across the state, more than 150,000 homes were without power following Tuesday's storm in Ocean County alone. Power is being restored gradually throughout the area. Electricity is provided to the majority of County residents through Jersey Central Power & Light Co. and Atlantic City Electric. Public Service Electric & Gas provides power to northern areas of the state.
"The hardship to so many of our residents is tremendous," Little said. "The utility companies are a business and like all businesses they face liabilities. They should be responsible for this.
"They should provide help in this hardship situation,," he said.
Little and Vicari are expected to write a letter to the Governor urging him to seek compensation for customers that lost food.
Vicari noted that in addition to purchasing greater amounts of food due to limiting going food shopping, consumers have seen an increase in the price paid for food.
"We understand how powerful storms can be," Vicari said. "But when power outages continue for days, our residents need to know they will get help from the companies they pay monthly for electricity."