Snapshots from 4th day without power in eastern US

Associated Press Modified: July 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: July 3, 2012
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TOWSON, Md. (AP) — At Ayd Hardware in Towson, a chalk sidewalk sign said in big letters "YES/DRY ICE." That was enough to draw in Sheila Williams of the Lockhearn area of Baltimore County, who happened to be driving by.

"I hate throwing all my food out. I'm trying to see if I can save some," Williams said Tuesday, adding she could use the ice to chill frozen meats that had begun to defrost at her house that still lacks power. "I don't care about the ice cream and the other stuff, but the meat is the most expensive."

Williams lives with six relatives that include her husband, her adult daughter, two teenagers and two younger boys.

"They're sleeping on the floor, sleeping everywhere trying to get some air," Williams said. "We stay outside until it's dark and the mosquitoes eat us up."

Vincent Ayd, who owns the hardware store, said 1,600 pounds of dry ice finally arrived Tuesday. Before, the sign said "Sorry, no dry ice."

Ayd said he had pre-sold 10 of the 15 generators expected to arrive Tuesday, along with most of his batteries, power cords and flash lights.

Ayd also said he received a call this weekend that he had never received before in his 40 years in the business.

"Do I sell hand-held fans? No. Then, the next question was battery-operated fans," Ayd said. "Then I said 'You can make your own fan' and I offered her a fly swatter."

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NOT-SO-COOLVILLE

Residents in tiny Coolville in southeastern Ohio, population 535, slowly began to get power back Tuesday and were hoping their village would live up to its name soon. Temperatures Tuesday afternoon topped 90 degrees.

"It's been terribly hot in Coolville," said Roxanna Rupe, the village's branch librarian. She and her family, without power since Friday, have managed with the help of a generator. But it's been a struggle for others as people drove several miles to the nearest grocery store and gas station with electricity, she said.

Rupe, 45, said she doubts things will cool down any time soon. But there has been a silver lining, she said.

"It's kind of a blessing — it forces us to slow down a little bit," Rupe said.

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SCRABBLING THE HEAT WAVE

Helmut and Natalie Furth avoided the heat by playing Scrabble at the South County Senior Center in Edgewater, Md.

Even while playing in the cool, the heat remained on Helmut's mind. His first word on the board is surely on the minds of thousands who remain without power: RESTORE.

"It was a 'bingo,'" Natalie Furth said, noting that Helmut scored an extra 50 points for using seven tiles.

The Furths live in nearby West River and are still without power Tuesday. They have spent time with family in the area since the storm, and Tuesday was the first day they went to one of the cooling centers in the state to escape the heat.

"It finally got to us," Natalie Furth said.

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