Rochester, N.Y. - Thousands in the Rochester area lost power overnight and it may be days before some homes and businesses get it back. “We are still assessing the damage in some areas,” says Rochester Gas and Electric spokesman Dan Hucko.
More than 23-thousand households serviced by RG & E had lost power by morning. As of 5:00 Tuesday more than 15-thousand were still in the dark.
“The trees were just going back and forth then everything went out,” says Marilyn Zambuto who lives in Henrietta. On Westminster Park it was lights out at 8 o’clock for everyone on the street. A night of tossing and turning ended the way it began.
"Everyone around us has power - all three sides of us! Just this street doesn't have it,” says her husband Louis with a laugh.
RG & E says Sandy downed 500 power lines overnight. Securing the arching lines has been the number one safety priority. More than 30 poles will also have to be replaced. “We suggest this is going to be a multi-day event,” says Hucko. “The power could be out for some of our customers for several days."
Crews are working from sun up - 17-hour days and help from Lancaster, PA will be arriving here shortly.
The Zambuto's have spent the day reading by kerosene lamp. A gas fireplace keeps their house an acceptable - if not toasty - 65 degrees. But they are truly getting by via a long extension cord and a little help from a neighbors generator.
“He ran an extension chord over for us and that's taking care of the refrigerator for us,” says Louis. When asked if they had good neighbors he replies “Oh yes, very good.”
While the Zambutos would like power back - soon - their thoughts are with family elsewhere. “We have family in New York City and are very concerned about them. We haven't seen TV yet - so we don't know how bad the damage is,” says Marilyn.