With more than 1.2 million New Yorkers still without power on Friday morning, Con Edison handed out dry ice to those in need.
The truck carrying deep freeze pallets of dry ice arrived in Union Square at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, loaded with 1,600 blocks to hand out – one per person. After hearing the news, more than 750 residents lined up within the first hour and a half, according to a Manager on site taking count.
“We want to make sure people can keep food refrigerated, said Giovanni Frontano, the operations manager on the scene. “It’s assuring for people to come here and get this ice for free.”
Some of the people standing in line tried to argue that they needed more than one block of ice. One man told a distributor that he was collecting ice on behalf of his entire retirement home, which had few people who could walk down to the square at all.
Paul Mercado and his son walked all the way from Avenue D across from the power plant that exploded during the storm to get ice for some of the residents in the public housing buildings on the Lower East Side.
“I’m trying to help my neighbours, one is in a wheelchair and can’t get here,” he said. “I tried to get on the bus with my cart so I could carry this stuff, but they wouldn’t let us on. So we walked here and now we’re loading up.”
Mercado and his son took turns every few minutes, returning to the line to receive another block of ice. After filling their handcart with eight bags, they turned to begin the walk back to down 14th Street.
Con Edison has been distributing ice since Wednesday afternoon, but some residents in the affected neighbourhoods have complained the supply has been limited.