PUTNAM VALLEY, NY (WCBS 880) – It’s hard enough for the able-bodied and young to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Imagine being elderly.

WCBS 880’s John Metaxas In Putnam Valley

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Dorothy Chartier, 75, got ready to tough out any power outages after the storm.

“I had prepared by filling my tub full of water and I just could not just keep taking these two-gallon things of water and bringing [them] to different places to do my dishes and stuff during the day,” she said.

But coping without power or running water at her home since Sunday was just too much for her. So, she’s taking advantage of the free shelter at the Putnam Valley Senior Center.

“There’s 24-hour police. It’s a safe situation. They’re bringing in food from the outside,” she told WCBS 880 reporter John Metaxas.

Antonia Gauci, 78, has been spending her nights at the shelter at the senior center ever since her power was knocked out Sunday.

At one point, she thought she caught a break.

“I got my power back yesterday. But my [water] pump is not working,” she said.

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So, with no water at home, she’s decided to stay until her water pump can be repaired.

“The people here are great people. Everybody is nice. The Red Cross, everybody helps out,” she said. “You know, it’s not your own bed and you have to make do with what you got.”

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Earl Hafner, 92, broke down in tears when he saw the major from the Salvation Army walk through the front doors of his Merrick, Long Island home with food and supplies.

Earl and his wife had no power and only spoiled food left in their refrigerator.

Hafner said they applied for Meals on Wheels, but sadly because of the Nassau County’s budget cuts, the Hafners have been put on a waiting list.

He said his neighbors and family members have been very good to them, bringing them hot water for tea and food to eat.

The Salvation Army’s Major Mary Moore said she will continue to check on the couple to make sure they are okay.

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Do you have any elderly relatives or friends that are struggling after Hurricane Irene? Please share their stories below in the comments section.