By Mike DeNardo
DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — As Peco crews whittle away at the mountain of power outages, people without electricity in hard-hit Chester County are coping the best they can.
Everywhere you look, tree branches and fallen limbs litter the roadsides.
“No one from here, the next ten miles up, nobody has power,” says Rich Diamond of Guthriesville. He’s been without electricity since one o’clock Wednesday morning.
“The people next door, it’s been a slumber party at our house because we have heat,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “We have a wood stove, and I do have running water, so it’s not godawful bad. There are a lot of people worse off than I am.”
Many of those people are in shelters, or waiting it out in chilly homes until the lights come back on.
The outage figure in Chester County dropped below 100,000 this morning for the first time since the storm.
Jim (no last name given) from Downingtown says this is the third day he’s been without power, but he’s okay.
“Not too awful bad because I’ve got a generator at home. It powers all the essentials: the well, the septic. I’ve got a gas furnace so I’ve got heat, and a few lights, and a very appreciative neighbor who comes over for a shower.”
Still, Jim is thinking about turning his generator off at night.
“I’m not sure if I want to have heat or if I want to sleep. The generator is not quiet. That’s the tradeoff. I can be warm or I can have a restless night listening to what sounds like a lawn mower right outside my bedroom window,” he says.
And Chris Breitfuller of Downingtown is glad he made the decision to buy a generator a few years ago.
“I have a transfer switch,” he says, “so the generator’s pretty much powering everything we need.”
Maybe because of that, Chris is coping with this extended power outage pretty well.
“We have three kids, six and under. My wife’s there, home, during the day when I’m working. So it’s been an adventure. We’re kind of saying we don’t have to go camping this summer because we’ve been doing it at home. So it’s been fun.”
But for those without generators riding out the outage, the fun won’t come until the lights come back on.