061013 Lkpt Storm01

061013 Lkpt Storm01 Dennis Stierer/Staff Photographer John Darnell of Erie Street in Lockport cleans his car after moving it across the street from a fallen tree. An early lake effect snow storm paralyzed Western New York.

By Eric DuVall


Residents are getting the power itch, but despite the hardships brought by three days without power, people were largely in good spirits.

Residents in line at a City of Tonawanda gas station waited patiently to fill vehicles and gas cans for generators. For the first time in months, talk at the pumps wasn’t of prices. Instead, customers swapped war stories about the condition of neighborhoods and methods of coping with the dark.

Town of Tonawanda resident Linda Gee said that despite her frustration, she understands that logistics in coordinating a power recovery are difficult.

“I lost everything in the freezer,” Gee said. “I don’t think they (the power companies) know what the hell they’re doing. Of course, I’m one of thousands and it’s Mother Nature. What can you do?”

Gee said she called National Grid to inquire as to the status of her home and an operator told her that her neighborhood was back online.

“I wouldn’t be calling (them) if I was,” she said. Power lines from the pole to her house had been ripped out, she said. Those situations will likely take the longest to repair.

Behind her in line Carla Marini, also of the town, sang the praises of a local hardware store that helped her get a generator. Marini’s husband has a medical condition and a powerless weekend was making things difficult. She was so thankful that she brought employees at the local Lowe’s store breakfast.

“They went way beyond for me,” she said. “I actually got a generator today. Everyone there was so kind.”

She preached patience with power company employees who are working long days, many of whom have been brought in from other areas and are staying in hotels.

“They are doing everything they can,” she said. “They’re working 16 hour days. Just be patient with them.”

Ed Ludwig of Kenmore made the trip up to the Tonawandas for gas and supplies. Like many, he has been without power since Thursday night. He, too, didn’t want to blame authorities.

“I’ve got a foot of water in my basement,” he said. “I’d really like to have power. It’s a situation beyond everyone’s control.”

Contact Eric DuVall at 282-2311, Ext. 2251.

Recommended for you