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Trip Back in Time

DALTON — It has now been four full days that tens of thousands of people in our area have been without power due to Sandy’s strong winds.

For one community in Lackawanna County that has meant a week where businesses have had to close, or improvise quite a bit to stay open.

The Dalton Country Store is like an old general store from more than a century ago. No power and in the dark. The only modern convenience is a calculator at the check out.

“Well we’re trying just for the essentials that you need but as far as deli or meats we just can’t do anything. So we’re just trying to make due,” said Ann Pensack, of the Dalton Country Store.

The store is open but this place has lost a lot of business running without power for four days.

“They keep saying Sunday by 10:00 p.m. but that’s a long stretch. We’ll have to wait and see.  It’s hard,” said Pensack.

For the many without power the open store is a help, but thousands around Dalton have taken a trip back in time.

“It feels like we’re in the olden days when they didn’t have power, only candles,” said
Catherine Columbo, of Glenburn Township.

“It’s definitely wearing a little thin you see everyone really struggling.  I know they’re dealing with priorities elsewhere but hopefully by the weekend they get us in their priorities too,” said Sam Strickland, of Dalton.

Downed wires untouched on Main Street. Some businesses in town, like the bank, are closed.

Others like the post office are doing what they can to stay open.

“It’s hectic.  The mail still comes in and out.  We work it as normal.  The only thing is we have a generator.  We have no heat and we’ve been using flashlights,” said Tina Venturi, a postal service worker.

The generator is only powering the basics, like the computer to calculate postage.

For Tina Venturi it’s been a cold week at work and home.

“I live up the road, we don’t have heat up there either, no power,” said Venturi.

What amazes some people is how spotty the power outages are.  At Newsies there’s no power.  Right in the heart of Dalton, you go across the street to McGraths the lights are on and have been throughout the week.

“The way power grid is here it’s scattered.  Usually it’s we don’t have power and the rest of town does.  Now we have power and the rest of town doesn’t,” said Jimmy McGrath, owner of McGrath’s Pub & Eatery.

McGrath’s electricity has made it a refuge for storm victims, an actual boost for business.

“So it’s been bringing a lot of people out.  It’s been great all week,” said McGrath.

PPL said it hopes to have 80% of those without power in our area back on sometime tonight and the rest by Sunday night at 11:00 p.m.



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