Monsey Residents Endure Another Day in the DarkDate: November 01, 2011
By Hamodia Staff
More than forty-eight hours after a powerful snowstorm hit Rockland County, a significant number of Monsey Residents are still without electricity.
With the leaf-laden trees felled by the heavy wet snow, and wires down throghtout the area, many streets remained impassible.
"Usually when it snows in Monsey we have winter wonderland, but now because we have leaves on the trees it looks different," Monsey resident Gila Hochberg said. "My little four-year-old daughter looked out the window on Shabbos and saw all the trees drooping down to the ground. She said, "The trees were crying. They look very sad."
Mrs. Hochberg herself lost electricity only on Sunday for about eight hours. But many other homes in the area are still without power. "There's no one to talk to at because O&R [the local electric company] is over their heads," she said. "They say their first priority is downed wires, and they canít even give an estimated time of when it's going to be restored."
Coping without electricity is proving to be a very challenging task.
"Families with 10 kids can't do laundry, and a few people don't have hot water, though most have water, at least," Mrs. Hochberg said.
"We usually take for granted that we have warm homes. Now many of us get to appreciate it. A lot of schools and yeshivos are off today for no other reason that they don't have electricity," she continued.
On Sunday, her son's yeshivah relocated to a girls' school that had the day off.
"[The administration spent the day making frantic calls, asking if anyone has an available basement. They were planning to split up all the classes."
In the past, the yeshivos in Monsey, accustomed to inclement weather, managed to stay open. "They haven't stopped even when they had six feet of snow!" said Hochberg.
Somehow, the yeshivah got hold of a generator. "I don't know how they did it. It's so expensive, and hard to get because the area was so hard hit," she remarked.
Yossi, a resident of Monsey who works for Misaskim, related that their organization, too, was inundated with requests for generators.
"I didn't know where to start, where to go first," he said.
In on case, ten families squeezed into one house to share a single available generator.
Among the buildings that lost power was the Vizhnitzer wedding hall. A long-planned wedding was scheduled to take place there Sunday night. Chaverim became actively involved and contacted Misaskim to see if they could provide a generator, which they could. The wedding went on as scheduled - though the lighting was quite unusual.
"I had one available generator, so we set up one strip of light for the men, one strip of light for the ladies, and power for the band, but in the middle of the wedding, they called me that the power went off," Yossi related.
"Usually Misaskim is there for tragedies, but this time it's for good occasions," he concluded.