Alvin Long stood on the lawn of the Pelhamdale Ave home readying his chainsaw early Tuesday afternoon. Hurricane Sandy had brought down a small tree in front of his house and now that the rain and wind were done, he was poised to clean away the debris and set things right.
Long pointed towards the barricaded entrance to the Hutchinson Parkway.
"Did you see two houses down past the stop light?" he said of his less fortunate neighbor. "They have a tree across their car." Indeed, just across Eastchester Ave was a blue sedan with a shattered back windshield. Draped across the car, a tree knocked over during Hurricane Sandy's petulant wrath.
From his lawn, Long turned in the opposite direction. "We don't have any power right now. I'm hoping we'll get it back today, maybe by noon. There was a branch that fell across the line."
Long's hopes were misplaced. Not five minutes earlier, ConEd inspector John Mastrocinque peered up at the same utility pole Long looked at from his lawn.
"That's the second time, we've had that situation with that pole," Long recalled. The unpruned tree was no longer an eyesore in one homeowner's yard. It was now the likely cause of several households being in the dark for an indeterminate number of days.
From the pole, a street light dangled precariously, its arm snapped in three pieces. Mastrocinque said that ConEd was surveying damage right now and he had no definite estimate to offer on when power might be restored.
Other residents gathered around watching Mastrocinque, behind him a generator hummed from the open, parked hatchback of a homeowner who said he lost electricity the day before. He let the generator run until nearly 1 a.m. Tuesday morning before turning it off and going to bed. When he woke up, he had fired it back up even while he worked outside to clear his lawn. He leaned on his rake for a moment watching the ConEd inspector then turned his attention back to his lawn just as Alvin Long was doing a few doors away.
Long said he's lived on Pelhamdale Ave since 1991. "This side is New Rochelle; that across the street is Pelham," he pointed out. But everyone is in the same boat now.