GLEN RIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Many New Jersey residents faced yet another bone chilling night Monday as temperatures fell and power had yet to be restored to parts of the Garden State.
As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, flashlights were the only light for blocks in Glen Ridge, N.J. Entire streets were dark.
But for the Chaudhuris, it was just their side of the street with no power. The neighbors directly across had lights and heat.
“Because they’re on a different grid than we are, they have power,” said Sunita Chaudhuri, “and we don’t.”
Such was the frustration for so many in North Jersey, now a full seven days without power.
The Chaudhuris were surviving on hats and heavy coats to keep warm, candles lighting their home, and flashlights to get around.
They said they feel like they have been left to fend for themselves.
“It’s hard to believe that we live in America; it feels like worse than a third world country,” said Shankar Chaudhuri.
“And no one’s come by, no one’s done anything,” said Sunita Chaudhuri. “We’ve called repeatedly and we haven’t seen anyone.”
The problem was massive downed trees snapping power lines, and cutting the power on one grid, while leaving another grid, just across the street intact.
The Chaudhuris blamed the power company, PSE&G, for what they said has been a painfully slow, no rhyme or reason, response.
“And I hear that we’re not alone. It’s not just Glen Ridge. It’s not just Montclair,” Sunita Chaudhuri said.
So they waited for power, relying on the latest promise from PSE&G that most, if not all of those still without power, will have lights by Friday.
But their time in the dark has left them without much hope.
Earlier, Jeanette Hanson of Mahwah told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan that while she is thankful that the trees did not destroy her home, she has been living with only a generator to light up a single room, for the past week.
“That tree leaning toward the house. We had three pine trees miss the house,” Hanson said.
For Mahwah residents who have been living on debris-strewn streets, it was a long and uncertain week.
“It’s cold at night and the fireplace does just so much,” Jackie Bryan said.
The threat of a Nor’easter on Wednesday had residents who were already living in the dark, on edge.
Fallen trees and power lines trapped Carol McEvilly inside of her Rutherford home. She said she used the little gas in her car to get to a friend’s house.
“I have no power, no heat. My kitchen is 47 degrees,” she said.
In Jersey City, officials were preparing for the worst. Mayor Jerramiah Healy asked the Newark Archdiocese to use empty schools as shelters.
“We’re asking FEMA for 5,000 cots just in case this storm hits us hard,” he said.
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