By Desirée Taylor
A little candlelight and a fuzzy four-legged companion named Missy have helped Mark Erts get through a week of dark and cold days and nights.
“We’ve been without power since 9 o’clock Monday night of the storm,” Erts of Clinton Township said. “Thank goodness here it’s been more of an inconvenience than any widespread damage and so on. In the backyard of my house, a tree fell down but away from the house. So fortunately no damage to property, cars were OK. So mainly I’d say it’s been inconveniences.”
Much of this neighborhood in Clinton Township has been without power since the storm hit a week ago, including a local school. Some residents like Drew Minnich have a generator, but he says he can’t run it 24/7.
“At night we run generator four hours and that’s it. We do the best we can,” Minnich said.
“We use a candle at night,” Clinton Township resident Phakinee Solstad said. “We collect rain water we use to flush the toilet.”
Not far from this neighborhood is busy Route 31 where most businesses have power. But it’s a much different story for Peg Fennell who runs a staffing company from her home.
“I didn’t work all last week,” Fennel said. “Today I set up a laptop, all my files I have so I’ll probably get back to work this afternoon.”
Late this afternoon, there were still 1,600 JCP&L customers in Clinton Township without power according to the utility’s online outage map. JCP&L expects to restore power to most affected customers by Wednesday.
The north branch library in Clinton is one of eight sites across Hunterdon County where residents can warm up, get internet service and re-charge personal devices. There’s also a 24-hour shelter in Flemington.