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Scarsdale residents seek warmth, WiFi on Election Day

Posted By Julie Moran Alterio On November 6, 2012 @ 8:33 pm In elections,Scarsdale | Comments Disabled

 


Village of Scarsdale workers clear leaves and brush in the wake of Hurricane Sandy on Brewster Road in the village on Nov. 6. Photo by Julie Moran Alterio.


The Village of Scarsdale was its usual picturesque leafy self under a shining bright autumn sky this afternoon, but there were signs of the recent hurricane on almost every street, from some truly gargantuan leaf piles to ubiquitous caution tape around collapsed trees.

At Village Hall, residents had no problems casting their votes since the power was restored even if the phones weren’t working.

Etta Parker of Popham Road in Scarsdale said she never feared Hurricane Sandy would hinder her ability to vote even though much of Scarsdale has been without power since the storm. “I don’t think I ever questioned it. The Constitution will win out even if the winds blow and the waters rise,” she said.

Other residents had the storm recovery as high in their minds as the election.

Dino Venuto, an attorney who lives on Circle Road in Scarsdale, said he’s been out of power since 6 p.m. last Monday. “We’ve been going out every night for dinner and desserts and going to bed early every night and listening to the radio, but last night was the chilliest night of them all,” Venuto said. “I called some hotels, but they were all booked. One had a 114-person long waiting list.”

Venuto wasn’t sure who to blame for the prolonged outage. “I spoke to some of the Con Edison people who came by and they said there were a lot of areas that were really bad,” he said. “I don’t have enough facts to assess what they are doing. We only have seven or eight homes on our block. I would imagine when they attack a problem like this, they said, ‘How can I help 100 people or 1,000 people?’ ”

Bonnie Hoch, who lives on Valley Road in the Green Acres neighborhood, said she spends her days in search of WiFi and her nights going to family for a warm place to sleep. “It’s been horrific. We lost power Monday of last week about 7 p.m., and it’s still not restored,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

At the Scarsdale Library, Madeline Gage was charging up her iPhone and iPad. Peeking out of her bag were a thick pair of gloves she wears to sleep. A Town of Mamaroneck resident in the Scarsdale School District, Gage said her neighborhood on Prince Willow Lane is always the last to get power back after an outage. “We’ve been through this before. It’s not new,” she said. “I think we’re all angry at Con Ed. They definitely had enough time to prepare for the storm.”

Scarsdale Library Director Elizabeth Bermel said Gage is just one of hundreds of people a day who are coming to the library for a place to charge devices and just get warm. “The children’s librarian said she saw a child the other day sleeping on our window seat,” she said.

Scarsdale residents Samantha Breitman and her mother, Beatrice Booth, have been coming to library in search of warmth, but today were also on a mission to charge every electronic gadget in their home. Considering that Brietman has three kids ages 9, 12 and 15, that meant three iPads, two iPhones and two Apple laptops. “We want to watch the election tonight, so as each one loses power, we’ll go to the next thing,” Breitman said.

Breitman said her family, which lost power Tuesday at midday, are camped out in her room, a situation that’s provided warmth and even a holiday atmosphere for the kids. “My 11-year-old said, ‘Can we do this even when we have the power back?’” she said.

Nearby, Roger Harris of Scarsdale said that what bugs him the most is the lack of information about when power will be restored. The most recent date he’s heard is that his power won’t be back until Nov. 11. “To be honest, not having power is terribly annoying, but it doesn’t measure to what other people are going through. You can’t complain a lot. My complaint is not getting any information to inform us what’s going on,” he said.

Over at Village Hall, Parker echoed Harris in putting the storm in perspective. “We are so lucky. We all have our homes. No one lost a home in this whole village,” she said. “So we lost power for a little while.”


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