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Parents Cope With No Power, No School in Wake of Storm

Some parents taking vacation days to take care of children

Costumes ready, tricks and treats prepared but instead of the normal Halloween festivities parents found themselves with school children home and many left in the dark. 

As a result of Saturday’s historic storm, downed power lines and tree debris have forced leaving parents to figure out what to do with the unexpected snow days.

The Browns, parents of 4-year-old twins who attend the pre-kindergarten program at , both work full time. Without backup, they have been trading off vacation days to be home with their children. Taking advantage of the township's decision to , the Browns spent Tuesday buying discounted decorations. "We were just busy and didn’t get to decorating before Halloween. Now the kids get to decorate for Halloween on November first," said Dad David.

Others are getting creative and finding ways to entertain their children — often without electricity.

Miriam Frolow, mother of one St. Cloud student, has been without power since Saturday. The full-time working mom has taken off work while school has been out. She said they have "been sleeping with lots of blankets." When the power went out she said her six-year-old son Remy asked "if we could just get a little bit of power." She said they talked about ways to make electricity and that her son was "a real trooper." As for filling some of the day time activities, on Tuesday Remy went to the Montclair YMCA’s Power Outage Camp which provided a full day drop-off program for children.

The Minervino family lives near the and didn’t lose power. Mom Nicole, is a school teacher in Summit whose school is also closed due to the storm’s damage. With everyone home, the mom of two students said she has been keeping the kids occupied with "drawing, painting, cleaning their rooms, writing stories, and cooking."

Stephanie Montague, mother of three, lives in the St. Cloud area. Her two oldest attend . She has been without power since Saturday. The family has been sleeping at her parent’s house in Livingston to keep warm. She said she spent some time on Tuesday "at the library with other St. Clouders."

As cool temperatures continue to rock the state, many were eager for electricity — and heat — to return.

"I could deal with the lack of power but no heat, that was tough. I called around to local hotels, even in Morristown, but all sold out," said Sarah Aiosa, mother of three young kids. Aiosa lost power on Saturday but said it came back late Sunday evening.

Katherine Kuzniewski, mother of two in the St. Cloud area, was also without power. She described the scene of all the fallen tree limbs in front of her house as "a war zone." To keep warm during the day she said they have been "living out of their car." With her husband away on business and family not close by they slept in the family living room on the pull-out sofa by the fireplace.  Kuzniewski, who has been without power since Saturday, said "the first night was kinda fun. We roasted hotdogs and marshmallows in the fireplace. After that not having power wasn’t so fun."

With schools closed today as well parents are eager to get the power back on and the kids back in school. Kuzniewski said "she is looking forward to getting back into routine and having a boring day."

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