October Snowstorm : The Story That Never Ran
You may remember a few weeks back—3 to be exact—the Hudson Valley was covered in a thick blanket of premature snow. As we kiss the last leaves of fall goodbye let's learn a lesson and prepare for an honest and humble winter season. Think about investing in a generator, stock up on salt and pile up your wood. You know, just in case - it's like wearing your pajamas backwards. The sheer superstition of it all will ward off the worst-case-scenario. In tribute to that early season storm, Happy Hudson Valley presents: The Story that Never Ran. A lovely composition by Genie Abrams, Copy-Editor at the Times Herald Record. October 31, 20011 : During the total power blackout in Newburgh this weekend … the whole city was without electricity, heat, hot water, traffic lights, street lamps, gas pumps, and lots more items that are usually considered necessities … i took the opportunity to walk around the ‘hood in the bright, almost cruelly bright, icy sunshine Sunday morning, and found a whole lot going on. i took notes for a story for the Record, but when i got home i realized that … DUH! … without my computer, i had no way to write it up and send it in. Only late in the evening, after the power had come back on, was i able to do so. Too late!
Or maybe, they just didn’t like it. Anyway, i’ve copied-and-pasted it here. Despite Outage, Newburghers Keep On Keeping On Newburgh—-It was a case of “no power, no problem” for many in the city on Sunday, as preachers preached, flocks flocked and even some businesses plowed ahead despite lacking electricity and heat. Two dozen workers’ cars were parked at Dickson Street’s Unitex laundry plant, a seven-day operation. A semi-tractor trailer driver who had backed up to the loading dock at about 11 a.m. said, “They’re washing the laundry by hand in there, and we’re trucking it to other plants to be dried.” It’s crucial that the work gets done because Unitex supplies linens to hospitals throughout the region. At Iglesia de Dios, a large church on the same street, worshippers flowed through its open doors to attend the morning service with pastor Joaquin Pena. “It’s wonderful to be able to worship together, even without power,” said one young woman who was herding three children inside.
The Sunoco station and convenience store around the corner, at South William and South Lake streets, was open. The gas pumps weren’t working, and since that’s what draws many customers, who then duck in for coffee and a hard roll, it was a bit lonely there. But by the light streaming through its wide-open door, clerks added up purchases using handheld calculators like the kind displayed, along with lip balm and tire gauges, on the shop’s walls.
Down the street, on South Lake between Broadway and Washington Terrace, Jessi’s Mexican-American Diner was doing a brisk business, thanks to a generator that enabled cooking to continue. “The place is packed,” said a man who was leaving with a large takeout bag. That assessment was confirmed by a line that extended out the door and down the steps. Making a joyful noise “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,” the congregation was belting out at Grace United Methodist Church at about that same time; “Praise Him, all creatures here below!” Nearly 35 people, in total, attended the two services there Sunday morning. Why didn’t they just snuggle under the covers and try to stay warm? “They come in any conditions, to celebrate who we are – children of the One G-d,” said the Rev. Dr. Evelyn McDonald, pastor at Grace. “Even after a night that was challenging to the people of Newburgh, we awoke to a day that is bright – a day that is G-d’s day. We came to sing, to praise and to be spiritually renewed for the week ahead.” The congregation stayed to enjoy one another’s company after services, along with cups of hot tea made on the church’s gas stove, which needed only a match to be fired up.