TOWSON, Md. (AP) – At Ayd Hardware in Towson, a chalk sidewalk sign said in big letters “YES/DRY ICE.” That was enough to draw in Sheila Williams of the Lockhearn area of Baltimore County, who happened to be driving by.
“I hate throwing all my food out. I’m trying to see if I can save some,” Williams said Tuesday, adding she could use the ice to chill frozen meats that had begun to defrost at her house that still lacks power. “I don’t care about the ice cream and the other stuff, but the meat is the most expensive.”
Williams lives with six relatives that include her husband, her adult daughter, two teenagers and two younger boys.
“They’re sleeping on the floor, sleeping everywhere trying to get some air,” Williams said. “We stay outside until it’s dark and the mosquitoes eat us up.”
Vincent Ayd, who owns the hardware store, said 1,600 pounds of dry ice finally arrived Tuesday. Before, the sign said “Sorry, no dry ice.”
Ayd said he had pre-sold 10 of the 15 generators expected to arrive Tuesday, along with most of his batteries, power cords and flash lights.
Ayd also said he received a call this weekend that he had never received before in his 40 years in the business.
“Do I sell hand-held fans? No. Then, the next question was battery-operated fans,” Ayd said. “Then I said `You can make your own fan’ and I offered her a fly swatter.”
Residents in tiny Coolville in southeastern Ohio, population 535, slowly began to get power back Tuesday and were hoping their village would live up to its name soon. Temperatures Tuesday afternoon topped 90 degrees.
“It’s been terribly hot in Coolville,” said Roxanna Rupe, the village’s branch librarian. She and her family, without power since Friday, have managed with the help of a generator. But it’s been a struggle for others as people drove several miles to the nearest grocery store and gas station with electricity, she said.
Rupe, 45, said she doubts things will cool down any time soon. But there has been a silver lining, she said.
“It’s kind of a blessing _ it forces us to slow down a little bit,” Rupe said.
SCRABBLING THE HEAT WAVE
Helmut and Natalie Furth avoided the heat by playing Scrabble at the South County Senior Center in Edgewater, Md.
Even while playing in the cool, the heat remained on Helmut’s mind. His first word on the board is surely on the minds of thousands who remain without power: RESTORE.
“It was a `bingo,'” Natalie Furth said, noting that Helmut scored an extra 50 points for using seven tiles.
The Furths live in nearby West River and are still without power Tuesday. They have spent time with family in the area since the storm, and Tuesday was the first day they went to one of the cooling centers in the state to escape the heat.
“It finally got to us,” Natalie Furth said.
It’s the second major inconvenience for the couple due to weather in a year. Their home was damaged in Tropical Storm Irene last year.
“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do when this is over: Going to put some solar panels on the house,” Natalie Furth said.
BACK AT WORK
Miranda Mines said she had just returned Tuesday morning to her job as a cashier at a Petco in Towson after spending all weekend without power in the Columbia home she shares with her roommate and her roommate’s four children.
Power lines across the driveway of her gated community _ along with an inoperable gate _ kept the 34-year-old from leaving.
When asked how she spent the time, Mines laughed and said: “Slept.”
“And we played board games, that’s about it,” Mines said.
“The worst part was the first night, kids all screaming and crying,” she said. “After, you know, you’re used to it, it was like camping.”
The home also didn’t have water because it is served by a well that lacked power for its pump. Fortunately, Mines said they had plenty of bottled water.
“So, we got lucky there, at least we thought that far ahead,” Mines said.
Power was finally restored Monday night, she said.
FELLING A CEMETERY’S TREES
Friday’s storm took down some of the oldest trees in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The cemetery said Tuesday that the damage suffered during Friday’s storm was comparable to that inflicted by Hurricane Irene last year. Three of the oldest trees in the cemetery _ two white oaks and a red oak estimated to be at least 225 years old _ were lost in the storm, along with five other large trees. Another 17 were damaged to the point that they will have to removed.
A small number of headstones were damaged by the falling trees. The headstones will be replaced.
Arlington Cemetery is home to a significant number, of large, old trees, including three trees classified as state champions. The champion trees remain standing.
REFUGE AT THE MALL
Michelle Morgan, 39, was sitting on the couches at the Liberty Mutual Insurance waiting area at the Towson Town Center mall with her 12-year-old daughter Halley Morgan because their apartment hasn’t had power since Friday night.
“So, it’s been crazy. It’s like a sauna in my house,” Morgan said. “I’m here to plug my phone in, charge up and get cool because it’s hot as hell in my house.”
The two spent Saturday night at Morgan’s mother’s house, and Sunday night at a hotel. The single mother, who is not working because of health problems, said they have been spending the days at malls and other air-conditioned places, visiting the Inner Harbor the day before.
“Pretty much going in the car whenever I can,” Morgan said.
Associated Press writers Matthew Barakat in McLean, Va.; Brian Witte in Edgewater, Md.; and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)