Gorham neighbors step up to help 94-year-old man during power outage

Gorham neighbors step up to help 94-year-old man during power outage (6 a.m.)

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Crews are working around the clock but thousands of people are still without power in the Rochester region Wednesday night. Other lights are finally back on.

The possibility of a second day without power was daunting for a 94-year-old man. But he says his kind neighbors stepped up to the plate to keep him warm.

Twenty-two hours later, the power was back on in the town of Gorham.  Neighbors expressed how ecstatic there were.

Gordon Stoutenburg: HALLELUJAH!
Richard Dana: Thank you God!

Richard Dana, 94, was expecting the windstorm and had a feeling he would lose power. Around 8 p.m. Tuesday night that’s exactly what happened. However, he didn’t expect he would not have power for over 18 hours.

“So when that happened I said ‘Oh boy, here we go. Didn’t expect it to last this long, though,” Dana said.

Dana says with no heat and electricity, it was tough staying warm. His nephew set up candles throughout the home. He snuggled up with his fur baby Gypsy. And layering up was key.

“Lots of blankets, covering with caps. I was in the car listening to the radio and keeping warm with the heater on,” Dana said.

That’s when his neighbors stepped in to help. Gordon Stoutenburg, who lives next door to Dana, was one of them.

Gordon says he is lucky to have a generator. Although some of his appliances didn’t work, overall it wasn’t too inconvenient.

When he and other neighbors heard Dana was keeping warm in his car, they knew that was dangerous and everyone lended a hand to keep him safe and warm.

“You just get to the point when you just realize ‘I got to do something to keep warm and I know if I run the car for a little while it can stay warm’,” Stoutenburg said. “We’ve all heard of scenarios where that might not turn out as well. It is desperation and I’m sure there’s other people who have done it to make sure they can get warmth and something doesn’t get to a point of going to a critical stage.”

Dana is forever grateful for the good neighbors who looked out for him during a time of darkness. “Thanks to my wonderful neighbors,” Dana said.

Power has been restored for residents in Gorham, but as of 11 p.m. Wednesday night, around 4,000 in our region — including more than 2,000 in Seneca County and a little over 900 in Ontario County — were still in the dark.