Seventy-two hours after Hurricane Sandy hit, some residents were becoming desperate without power and heat, while others were finally starting to see their lives return to normal.
Princeton officials estimated that 4,000 PSE&G customers were still without power on Thursday morning.
By Thursday evening, lights began coming on at Henry Avenue, Cuyler Road, Jefferson Road and Moore Street, Spruce Street, Wiggins Street, Mt. Lucas Road and Valley Road. Earlier in the day, the Campbell Woods neighborhood in Princeton Township had power restored.
Still the utility could offer no guarantee of when power would be restored to the rest of Princeton or Central New Jersey. The company announced via Twitter that all customers should have power restored within seven to 10 days from now, most sooner.
As temperatures dipped into the 40s, those still without power posted online for help in finding nearby supplies of firewood. Patch readers reported firewood for sale from a truck in front of McCaffrey’s Supermarket at the Princeton Shopping Center, at a firewood vendor on Route 206 in Hillsborough just north of the Kohl’s shopping center, at Peterson’s on Route 206 in Lawrence, and on Cold Soil Road and Keefe Road in Lawrence.
Nassau Street, which was mostly spared from power outages, appeared almost normal on Thursday. Some people window-shopped, others enjoyed a drink and TV at the Ivy Inn, while others picked up a hot meal from Nassau Street Seafood.
Princeton Public Library was packed with people seeking respite from the cold and powering up computers and cell phones. Loudspeaker announcements alerted patrons that Princeton Public Schools would be closed on Friday and that the movie "Horton Hears a Who" was about to begin for children.
The library also offered wifi service but the system quickly became overloaded and web surfing was slow.
The Princeton Township Building at 400 Witherspoon Street provided- and will continue to provide- hot coffee, pastries and and wifi service. The building is still operating on emergency generator, so anyone looking to power electronics should search for an outlet marked “emergency.”
The Friend Center at the corner of Olden and William Streets is open as a respite center.
Princeton United Methodist Church at the corner of Nassau Street and Washington Road held a community dinner on Thursday for those still without power.
The Hun School, located on Edgerstone Road, located in one of the hardest hit areas of town. Most students had left school and gone home and most international students went to stay with nearby sponsors, said Bill Long, Hun’s Dean of Students.
The remaining 25 or so students were taken to a nearby Gold’s Gym for hot showers. Dining tables were moved into a hallway lined with windows in order to eat by moonlight and students and faculty feasted on London Broil on the gas grill. Hun’s adult duty crews kept tabs on each student and held mandatory meetings each morning for campus announcements and check-in.