The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 31, 2012

Guard evacuating people, taking in food to NJ city

(Continued)

Cornish was deciding Wednesday whether to evacuate to his parents' house in Summit, where they have no power.

"I'm debating, no power and a colder house in Summit, or stick it out here with some auxiliary power that will only last until the building runs out of diesel," he said.

In Cornish's building, the generators gave them auxiliary power only in the hallways. He said doors were open and neighbors were sharing; some had refrigerators plugged in the hallway or worked on laptops.

At one condo building where power remains out, residents decided to celebrate Halloween on Wednesday afternoon.

Kathy Zucker, the condo president, said she had three children under the age of 6.

"They are going a little stir crazy," she said, "but they are hanging in there."

Zucker said children would be going door to door in Halloween costumes at 1 p.m.

Around the city late Wednesday morning, people in hipster glasses and designer rain boots swept up mud-caked front sidewalks clogged with debris as National Guard trucks rolled through the area. Others got around with their legs wrapped in garbage bags.

Payloaders had been used to get people out for medical emergencies, but Melli said the streets are so narrow they can get stuck.

P.J. Molski, a 25-year-old graphic designer who lives in Hoboken, said his place is dry but his car, which he left parked on a flooded street, won't start.

Almost every basement apartment he has seen in the small city, which makes the most of its housing stock, is flooded, he said. The mayor had asked residents of those units to evacuate Sunday.

"There are just pumps going all over the city of people trying to get the water out of their basement apartments," he said.

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