At the Community Opportunity Center at noon the stack of pizzas arrived for a growing crowd of people in the gymnasium. Red Cross volunteers in their red bibs were helping distribute the food to families. Twirling from ribbons from the ceiling was Hilary Sweeney of Westchester Circus Arts, who gave up her classes this week to make room for this impromptu shelter.
When I told Director Kristin Lanza that I heard news from the Village of Sleepy Hollow that power may not be restored to some parts of the village until November 9, she seemed to gather up her strength and accept. She too was sleeping here overnight on cots. “I can’t ask my staff to stay here around the clock and not be here myself.”
Con Edison has since issued an announcement now that we're looking at November 11 for most power restoration.
I felt that as much as the Patch can do it can only do so much for people who might be marooned in their homes with no access to information, especially the elderly. I wanted everyone to know that this Community Center shelter is here for one, and that showers are available to them at the YMCA. So I borrowed the printer and computer at the Center and made a stack of flyers and embarked on a tour of Tarrytown.
The Quay complex, with many elderly residing there, had been in the dark for days, but as of noon, a resident returning with her groceries reported they were back on the grid, as was the 300 South Broadway complex across the street.
Temple Beth Abraham on Leroy was hosting by day quite a few folks with no power at their own homes.
Up the road around Loh Street, a DPW crew was chainsawing a giant uprooted tree in the middle of the roundabout. Many homes here had no power. One woman was shut off from the world down her blocked street and appreciated the promise of a warm shower.
At the EF School, large buses had been pulling up, filling up with students and their luggage, apparently evacuating. When I got there to ask how things were for the students, with a few buses driving off, the gate keeper said all was fine in the school. Over 300 customers are listed as without power around here, which I assume means at least an entire dorm and the surrounding neighbors. But the security guard said they had generators at the school.
Same with the nearby Marymount Convent. The woman who answered the doorbell said the elder nuns on the third floor were cared for by their own staff and were okay. On the night of the hurricane, they were carried up three flights of stairs by the Tarrytown Fire Department, but now maybe they were just staying put.
The surrounding Crest neighborhood however is still a mess. Described one resident, “There is a huge pole down on Union in Tarrytown. For the last two days, we've seen hardly any progress. There are also two poles split at Irving and Neperan. The police told us yesterday, at least 48 hours. I would say much longer. The whole neighborhood is without power. We saw trucks yesterday with new poles and some Verizon trucks. But hardly any activity or progress.”
I did not see any evidence of any Con Edison wherever I went, though I did see those Verizon alongside the EF school as well.
Trees, of course, are down all over but many of them have been cut into neat chainsawed piles. There's a giant tree down behind the old Stone House on the Wilson Park Drive development property. It missed the house.
One older man near EF had no power, but he did have a generator and was using it to tidy his outdoor mess with power tools.
The more I drove, the more I started to worry about gas.
Hurricane Sandy is causing a gas shortage around the tri-state area and people are lining up for long waits and may or may not get gas at the end of it.
There are no stations open in Sleepy Hollow, all closed with yellow tape. At the border of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow there was at least the Mobil. No more.
Some cars had waited in line for a half hour, a line all the way to Beekman and were turned away at last when the station ran out of gas around 1:30 p.m.
The intersections are chaotic enough by day with no lights; as the sky darkens please exercise even more caution.
The five-point intersection at Route 9 and 448 has Sleepy Hollow officers manning the scene. The other lightless hub is 119 and Route 9, where there’s another gas line to contend with.
Catherine Johnson of Irvington described the scene at the Hess Station at 119:
“Only two employees are working, and they're doing a heroic job keeping order and civility.”
I gave up on trying to get gas and just opted to get home and walk.
Stay tuned for my tour of Sleepy Hollow and please continue to stay safe.