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Some still without power finding ways to cope in cold, dark

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 06 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 08 2012 04:39:31 AM CST

Some families and businesses in Greenwich Twp., N.J., among those still without power.

GREENWICH TWP., N.J. -

Some families and businesses in Greenwich Twp., N.J., are among those still without power.

The lights went out in chunks of Warren County when Sandy blew through Monday. Now, after nine days and more then 200 hours in the dark, residents want to know what's taking so long.

The glow of the fire has become a way to survive.  Spending nine days without power has forced families to learn a new way to live and deal with the constant chill seeping in.

"It's very cold at night," explained Marianne Dagnall. "I come down. I start the fire. I light the lanterns."

Work's been canceled, so Marianne has had a lot of time to fill. She and her husband, Shawn, can cook some food on their gas stove, but having a well has left them without running water.

"Not being able to bathe, not being able to flush the toilet, that's been the hardest part."

Thursday will be 10 days in the dark. Marianne just wants to know why.

"It's been depressing," she said. "It's been frustrating since the company won't give us any answers. JCP&L won't give us any answers."

JCP&L said it's restored power to one million homes. But in Warren County, nearly 7, 500 customers are still offline.  We reached out to the power company to see what was taking so long.

"It's just the severity and the massive damage this storm brought, " said Mark Nitowski, JCP&L spokesman. "This storm virtually affected every single one of our customers."

Utility crews, Nitowski said, are working hard to restore power, but it could still be a few days before all the lights are back on.

That's news that doesn't bring comfort to Marianne, whose been told the power could be out through Sunday.

"We may have to deal with candles after the propane goes out, which is kinda dangerous," she added.

JCP&L said it has 9, 700 additional workers from as far away as California, Washington, and Florida out working to restore service.