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MAYS LANDING – For the third day in a row, cases of bottled water and bags of ice will be handed out Wednesday at a water distribution center set up behind the Hamilton Mall. The supplies are available free to Atlantic County residents who remain without electrical power following Saturday morning’s devastating derecho wind storm.
Sam Spino, coordinator of the Camden County Office of Emergency Management, which is manning the water distribution center, said 36,000 pounds of ice and 1,100 cases of bottled water were given out between 2 and 8 p.m. Monday. Totals were unavailable immediately after Tuesday’s 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. operation, although Spino said the center had been prepared to handle 150 cars per hour for the 12 hours the center was manned.
Each car is allotted one case of bottled water and four 10-pound bags of ice.
Ed Conover, deputy coordinator for the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Management, said the water distribution center would be manned from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, despite it being a federal holiday. He said Burlington County OEM workers were expected to help out on the Fourth of July, as well as Atlantic County and Cape May County CERT volunteers, who also pitched in Monday and Tuesday.
According to Atlantic City Electric, power has been restored to 140,000 of the 206,000 customers who lost power when trees toppled by the storm’s 80-mph winds brought down electrical lines and snapped utility poles. About 900 workers are working around the clock to restore power to 90 percent of Atlantic City Electric’s customers by midnight July 4, with the remaining customers expected back on line by 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 6.