Market Basket a Safe Haven Among Power Outages And Despair

The Franklin Lakes grocery store — operating on generators since Hurricane Sandy hit — has been an oasis for Bergen County residents looking to stock up on supplies.

Franklin Lakes residents have been turning to the Market Basket after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power all over New Jersey. The local grocery store is using a generator to power its aisles so local residents can buy groceries and other necessities.

Those who have been able to stop in all have the same stories and fears about the destruction left in the path of Sandy.

“I’ve heard a lot of people that don’t have power and their stories. It’s pretty upsetting," said Billy M., a resident of Franklin Lakes and Market Basket employee. "It’s hard to get around. School is closed until next week.”

Franklin Lakes-native Brian, who was evacuated from his New York City home said: “Our hearts go out to everyone in Mantoloking, Bay Head, and Spring Lake. That’s where we’ve gone every summer. Homes we rented on the ocean aren’t even there.  It’s really sad, really sad. We were happy that Market Basket’s open, we’re trying to get some food and everyone’s been really patient. It’s just going to take time.”

Market Basket employee Nicholas Baratta said the store has been extremely busy over the past two days.  

“[We’ve been hearing about] a lot of torn down trees, power lines all screwed up, no school,” he said. “A lot of people are out of power, Rockland Electric said seven to 10 days to get electric back… mostly people have been talking about [how] we didn’t get it as bad as the shore.”  

Baratta said a lot of residents he's spoken to are thankful that they either have a generator or that power is the only thing they lost — many were sharing stories about conditions down the shore, such as the Seaside Pier, being totally destroyed.

But there's good news amidst all the tales of destruction. Some residents got away mostly unscathed.  

“We had a huge tree fall down, just missed our house by, like, a hair," said Danielle Z. of Franklin Lakes. "We’re very lucky."  

She's tried to call someone to remove the tree, she said, but, “it’s been a headache, everyone’s busy.”

While some residents are hopeful about the power being turned back on, others think that it may take the full 10 days or longer.  For now, the Market Basket will continue to fill their generators with gas so that residents can at least buy food for their families.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Richard Sorce November 02, 2012 at 03:15 PM
No gas, no cars; no cars, no work, no electric, no heat and no technology; no foresight-back to Medieval-style survival. Archaic energy systems. 21st century vision and preparedness-I don't think so!
Richard Sorce November 02, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Those profits made by utilities and energy companies? Maybe, just maybe they should be invested in an infrastructure assuring dependable delivery instead of to stockholders! Any thoughts?
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