Having been raised in Oklahoma, Diane Adorino Hirschberg has always had a soft spot for the Sooner State. This past week, a lot of her New Jersey neighbors and friends developed a similar feeling.
Hirschberg, a resident of a New Jersey town of 11,000, was like thousands of East Coast residents in that she did not have electricity following Hurricane Sandy. Hirschberg said 90 percent of her town was without electricity for a week. With nighttime temperatures steadily decreasing, residents were anxiously awaiting the return of their utilities and on Nov. 4, the cavalry came to town.
"We saw an OG&E truck and it was like manna from heaven," Hirschberg said. "It was around 10 p.m., Sunday night. They were searching the neighborhoods and coming around. The next day, they restored the power."
Hirschberg was raised in Ardmore where she graduated high school. She also graduated from the University of Oklahoma prior to moving to New Jersey in 1976. She has kept ties to the area and was familiar with OG&E, which came in the nick of time. After power was restored, a winter storm swept through the area dropping four inches of snow on the ground.
"Some people are still without power," Hirschberg said.
Hirschberg was able to describe what residents of Glenrock have been through. Located 50 miles from Manhattan, New York and 50 miles from the Jersey Shore, the town did not receive the type of devastation, which has been documented. But like many other communities, adjustments had to be made.
"We have been without refrigerators and freezers and it has been hard," Hirschberg said. "A lot of food has been tossed out. People had generators but there was no gas. The most emotional times occurred when people stood in lines for gas. It reminded me of the bread lines you see in history class."
Hirschberg said when gas became available; it was only to those with gas cans for the generators. She also noted the shelters and churches were available to those in need as well as people of the community banding together.
"It brought out a lot of neighbors and friends trying to help people out," Hirschberg said.
And it also brought out some much needed help from the Sooner State.
"I have never been to Oklahoma, but I love you guys," Pam Berger, a resident of Glenrock, said. "They were excellent. These guys came in and it was a big job. We thought it would be a couple of days and they had us up and running.
"We love those guys."