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June 6, 1980
Islanders 'roughing it' until utilities return

By Sandi George
Independent Staff Writer

Living without electricity is "just like camping" for Girl Scout leader Linda Hough of West North Front Street. Too much so, she said -- there's no shower.

The Hough family includes three children, two of them Cub Scouts, so they are carrying on in scout fashion, barbecuing outside and using dry milk. They drained the hot water heater for water and put refrigerated goods in the refrigerator of a motor home.

Residents of Piccadilly Square apartments are making the best of things by lounging around the swimming pool. Marcia Stanton, who manages the apartments with her husband Harold, said that the biggest inconvenience was lack of refrigeration, but people were making do with ice, ice chests and dry ice.

Despite the inconveniences, Mrs. Stanton said, "We're so much better off than everyone else, we feel very lucky." The lack of electricity is hardest at night, because there's nothing to do but talk to each other, which Mrs. Stanton said, "is probably a good thing."

Roberta Reed and her husband, Irv, have a well at their home on Rt. 4 but no electricity to pump the water out. Irv brought home water in antifreeze containers from the muffler shop where he works. The water was used for washing and the Reeds drink pop and milk, kept cold with dry ice.

They were able to get some water from a neighbor in Ravenwood who had rewired a pump from 220 volts to 110 so power from their home's generator could be used to run the well.

Mrs. Victoria Panowicz, 78, of East 15th Street, is confined to a wheelchair, so she misses her television programs more than most people. Other than that, she said, she is making do just like everyone else; writing letters and reading by candlelight. Meals on Wheels provided her with lunch Thursday.

Local businesses have muddled through without electricity or have somehow gotten electricity. Merlin Kempke, manager of the Hinky Dinky at 1602 W. Second, said that the store got electricity at 11 a.m. Thursday, thanks to a generator distributed by the National Guard. Trucks from Omaha brought emergency supplies of meat and milk to the store Thursday, but the store still had no frozen food Thursday afternoon.

Workers were cleaning up the Monfort meat packing plant Thursday by using generator power which provided electricity in the offices but no water.