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Still No Power in Downtown Briarcliff

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Jenny Wallack bought her second car trunk-full of firewood on Monday morning to warm up her house, which had been without power since 2 p.m. on Saturday.

"I slept with two comforters last night and it was ok," she said. "I called the Comfort Inn in Hawthorne and they said there's not a hotel available from here south all the way to LaGuardia Airport and from here north to Stamford, Conn."

A snowstorm and high winds that hit the area on Saturday left many trees and power lines down in towns and villages throughout Westchester. On Monday morning, Con Edison's website said there were 1,772 customers in Briarcliff Manor without power out of a total of 2,964 Briarcliff customers. The company estimated that power would be restored to customers by the end of the day on Wednesday.

Wallack, who lives in Briarcliff, said there was a line of people waiting to use outlets in the Starbucks café in Briarcliff on Sunday night to charge their phones. Wallack waited in that line and on Monday she was planning on taking a shower at Club Fit, which was allowing anybody, including non-members, to shower in its locker rooms.

Gino Cebel, the manager of the Getty Station on Pleasantville Road, where Wallack bought her firewood, said he was planning to keep his gas station open on Monday even though it, like all the businesses on Pleasantville Road in downtown Briarcliff, was without power.

"I go home, I've got no power. I come to work, I've got no power," said Cebel, who lives in Cortlandt Manor. "But we stay open because people come in here to buy firewood, ice, newspapers."

Cebel said he had already thrown away about 150 cartons of milk that were going to go bad because of the lack of refrigeration and was about to throw away his store's entire ice-cream section.

Across the street, John Chambal, the owner of Good Food Organic Café, was keeping cartons of ice cream cold by covering them with snow.

"I'm moving it all to my freezer at home," he said.

Fran Eckel, the owner of Manor Wines & Spirits on Pleasantville Road, said 2011 has not been a good year, with Tropical Storm Irene leaving a hole in North State Road that is still affecting business while the road is closed and with the weekend's snow storm causing power outages on Halloween.

"We're losing thousands of dollars," Eckel said. "I decided to open today because I figure I can find a bottle of wine in the dark and if somebody's got cash, they can pay for it."

Briarcliff schools were closed on Monday because school officials thought with a number of power lines downed on Sunday night, it was better to avoid difficulties getting to school.

Briarcliff police Officer Michael Zazzini said while a number of roads had been closed on Saturday, including Pleasantville Road at the Atria senior living facility and Route 9A at Chappaqua Road, the roads had been cleared by Sunday night and traffic was flowing fine on Monday morning.

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