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Local

Almost A Week Later, Some Residents Still Without Power

(credit: CBS) Steve Patterson
Steve Patterson joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News ...
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By Steve Patterson

PAOLI, Pa. (CBS)–It may be the quietest street in Paoli.

In certain places where the road is blocked, where power is a memory, where trees tangle and sprawl out on electric lines over homes long abandoned.  It would seem normal life has all but ceased.

Except for the mailman.

“Yeah it’s been a struggle. It’s an extra 15-20 minutes but you do what you got to do.”

For the past week, postal worker Dave Benner has been navigating damaged roads and neighborhoods, only to deliver mail to homes in the dark.

“It’s been very tiring, just walking in the snow. Hopefully we’re getting better every day.”

And that’s the work for these guys.

“It’s like we’re storm soldiers.”

Matt Wilson leads a crew from Buffalo, New York, working 17 hour shifts since Thursday, assigned exclusively to hunt.

“We’re to go patrol this line. You see anything, fix it.”

Monday, the soldiers battled a tree that crashed on a line, cutting power to a home in Malvern.

“Hopefully PECO gets the power back on today.”

And the family inside hopes it’s mission accomplished, as supplies on their sixth day are running thin.

“It’s rough with just the one generator with a little bit of space, but it could be worse.”

And if you’re wondering what six days with no electricity can do to a family, Skyler Hoffman says he’ll show you.

“I mean, it’s a little bit of a headache.”

Eyewitness News joined Skyler’s family as they boiled water on a wood stove  to clean a baby bottle for one of three young children in their Malvern home.

“My mom has diabetes and cancer so she’s sick and cold. My aunt has MS and she’s cold, she can’t really be active. Yeah, it’s too much.”

The problem is a large tree that took out a line in the back yard. Crews were there Monday afternoon getting it fixed.

“I’m a little cold. But I’m okay. At least we have the generator going.”

But that leads to another problem.

“It’s been burning since Wednesday. We’ve got to go get more gas. We’re on our last one.”

This single gallon generator gets powers a small portion of the home for nearly six hours, meaning Skyler rarely sleeps and it’s costly.

“We’re paying like $200 a day for gasoline.”

Fatigued, exhausted and running low on supplies, there’s not much the Hoffman family can do but huddle up and glance outside ready for the moment they can turn their generator motor off.