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Sandy Aftermath: 'You Realize Now What You Take for Granted'

You can warm up, get a warm meal and charge your electronics at Yorktown's emergency shelter. Residents also lined up to get dry ice only to walk away without a bag, as there were only 100 bags distributed.

You don't realize what you take for granted until you lose it. That's how one woman, who waited in line to get dry ice in Yorktown on Thursday, felt about hot water. 

"I had to wash my hair," Marie Panella said. "I washed it with cold water. It's the hot water that I miss – you realize now what you take for granted."

Panella, who is a ConEd customer and lives near the Jefferson Valley Mall, said she has been without power since Monday night and on Thursday she was one of about 200 people who waited in line to get dry ice at the Triangle Shopping Center. But the supplies were enough for 100 people. 

"It's a great thing, but it doesn't last long," Panella said of the dry ice whe was able to get. Even though distribution was at 3:30 p.m. many had lined up an hour prior.

Debbie Brunner, whose family has been without power since Monday, was able to get the last bag of dry ice on Thursday. 

"It's been cold," she said. "We lost a lot of food."

Thankfully, Brunner said her family was able to take showers at Club Fit, which is letting people use the facility for showers. The Brunner family is also cooking food on the grill, charging their electronics in the car and staying warm by lighting their fireplace. 

Siblings Adrian and Arlinda Hasani, who live in the Sparkle Lake area, said the last few days have been quite stressful. They've seen trees hang over power lines that no one has taken care of yet and they're frustrated at not knowing when they would get their power back. 

Yorktown has had the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center opened as an emergency shelter since Tuesday. There were more than 100 people who stayed at the shelter for dinner on Wednesday and 10 people slept over. 

Eleanor Tanner, who lives at the Beaver Ridge complex in Yorktown, was one of the 10 people who slept at the emergency shelter because there was no power at her apartment building. 

"I don't want to go home," Tanner joked. "I've never had such good service."

Tanner said she was treated well while at the emergency shelter – having hot coffee and oatmeal in the morning.

"These people have been doing a fabulous job," Yorktown resident Ann Kaufmann said of the volunteers manning the emergency shelter. "People should be grateful for what the town does for them."

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