In South Jersey, trying to stay cool until the power returns

This weekend’s storm was not routine for much of South Jersey, especially along the shore. Atlantic City Electric says it’s working to restore service to thousands of customers.

With the prospect of a week without power, people are figuring out how to make life more comfortable — or at least bearable — until the electricity is back.

The drone of generators is music to the ears of people in places such as Somers Point where Joseph Fitzpatrick bought a second gas can to keep his generator humming.

“It’s really hard, especially when you have kids and stuff and it’s hot. I’m basically running my refrigerator, fans and stuff like that,” he said. “I’m getting by.”

In this town, even Michael Giunta’s hardware store is generator powered. He’s ordering as many as he can find.

“This is a fresh shipment. It was 98 strong at about 6:30 this morning,” he said Monday. “Right now, I’m sitting on 25 units, and I’ve got another 70 coming in about 6:30 tonight.”

Utilities say it might be Friday before everyone gets power back, so people are coming up with alternative ways to stay cool.

Michael Campbell of Northfield bought another window air conditioner.

“The central air’s not working,” Campbell said. “The generator won’t power that, so the generator will power these little air conditioners. I have three of them running.”

Many shore businesses are worried about losing sales at the height of the summer season.

Jeff Huntsinger bought a generator to keep food cold for his girlfriend’s catering business.

“We had two parties we did this weekend we did without electricity, so it was quite a feat,” Huntsinger said. “Now we are just trying to keep the freezers frozen and the reach-ins cold.”

At this point, residents and vacationers are waiting and hoping that a utility truck will turn down the street — a sign they’ll be back to normal soon.

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