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Charging Stations Create Neighborly Feel, Impromptu Block Parties

Residents with power organize impromptu block parties, power stations and hot tea and coffee for those in need.

In the darkness of Hoboken after Hurricane Sandy, there was one literal ray of light: Hudson Street.

Makeshift hot spots and power stations popped up in the front yards and on the steps of residences on Hudson Street above as residents with full power helped fellow Hobokenites in need of a plug. 

While about 85 percent of the city was without power after Sandy hit, the blocks on Hudson between Fourth and Tenth Streets never lost electricity.

"I feel bad sitting up here with power," said Will Connelly who lives at 702 Hudson. The night before, the charging station turned into an impromptu bloc part, Connelly said, "we were out here until midnight."

Standing in the front yard with a television broadcasting the 6 o'clock news, they offered hot tea or coffee to passersby. The charging stations also served as a way to get in touch with the outside world, as AT&T and Sprint customers were without service all over town.

"It's nice to be in a community with a general sense of sharing resources," said Sandy Shaw, who also lives at 720 Hudson St. After living in her apartment for the past 12 years, she only met her neighbors this week as everyone gathered outside to discuss the damage and the storm.

Down the block, at 636 Hudson St., Bob Sothrer, offered up cookes and an extenstion cord for those in need.

"We have an incredibly young community," Stohrer said, "but underneath there's a strong foundation."

"People are very appreciative," he said. "All the people who have power, are feeling a little guilty."

Those residents who came to charge their phones, computers and iPads expressed gratitute as they connected to the internet with a sigh of relief.

One of them, was Bridget Acox, who lives on Willow Terrace and was without power since the storm.

"It's just nice see everybody helping each other," she said.

George Garrastegui Jr. November 02, 2012 at 02:53 AM
thanks you to the family at 11th and Clinton for their FREE charge station and the Free optimum Wifi Hotspot, it really helped to get in contact with friends and family. We realllllllly appreciate it!!!!
FAP November 02, 2012 at 06:07 PM
It is amazing how people are coming together right now. Even those who have little are sharing with those who have none. It's fantastic.
andrew brown November 02, 2012 at 06:44 PM
A big thank you to Dr. Kathia and Hein on 11th and Garden for being the best neighbors and friends a town could ask for during a rough time. They've been providing warmth, food and power to anyone in need.

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