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In Northern New Jersey, Power Still Hit Or Miss Nearly A Week After Sandy

Downed tree in Franklin Lakes (credit: Perry Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

Downed tree in Franklin Lakes (credit: Perry Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

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Superstorm Sandy

TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Many in New Jersey still don’t have power nearly a week after Sandy struck, but that doesn’t mean their next door neighbors are in the dark.

In River Edge and Hackensack, the lights were on on Route 4. Route 17 had long gas lines and many dark stores.

In Wyckoff, Ridgewood, Paramus, Midland Park and Teaneck on Monday morning, light and dark alternated neighborhood to neighborhood and block to block.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports from Wayne

In Wayne, the lights shine brightly on Sunnyridge Road but not on Sunny Knolls Court, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“Why do they have power and I don’t; I’m around the corner,” resident Valerie Silvestri, who has been without power for eight days, said.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

The estimate in Teaneck is that they’re down from 90 to 20 percent without power.

Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin says the lesson he’s learned from all of this is that we all have to prepare better as individuals.

“2,000-watt generator will cost you around $300, $400. You can plug in your fridge. You plug in your furnace and you know you’re good to go,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

Resident Dennis Newman said those with are aiding those wtihout.

“Neighbors are looking out for each other and giving each other food. My sister lives in Hoboken in a mulitmillion-dollar building and they have been coming to my house to take a shower,” he said.

He just made a tray of lasagna to share. A home-cooked meal can be like medicine.

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox told Adams that, in the case of Orange & Rockland customers, no one will likely get power back until Wednesday. The remainder sometime between Wednesday and Sunday of next week. O&R also serves towns including neighboring Franklin Lakes.

He said PSE&G customers could possibly get power back Tuesday.

LINK: Official NJ Town-By-Town Power Restoration Estimates

Statewide, PSE&G reported Monday that 78 percent of the 1.7 million customers affected by Sandy have power restored, leaving about 375,000 without service.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports from Fort Lee

The utility is concerned about a nor’easter that could hit the area with strong winds and heavy rain on Wednesday.

“That will create two challenges for us,” President and Chief Operating Officer Ralph LaRossa said. “One is the obvious challenge of the safety of our employees — being up in a bucket truck with high winds and rain pouring down is not something that will lead to greatest productivity. Just as importantly, many of the repairs that we’ve made to the system will be challenged.”

As the utilities work to get service restored, residents are doing all they can to stay warm and sane.

“I’m going to work to get warm, I want to cry,” one Fort Lee resident said.

Even Fox is plugged into a generator at home.

“The infrastructure has been damaged to the point where they have so many repairs to make that they really can’t deliver the electric power to the neighborhoods because they’re making substation repairs and transmission line repairs,” he said.

Also in the township, Jake Popjas has his 97-year-old mother-in-law wrapped up in quilts.

“You ask her if she’s warm. She says she’s as warm as a bug in a rug,” Jake said. “This is really nothing for her.”