Neighbors come together in the wake of major power outage

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP -

Thousands of New Jerseyans are still without power after powerful thunderstorms came through the state Monday evening.

In the wake of the power outages, neighbors have been leaning on each other in order to get through this tough time. This includes an Iraq War veteran Howard Orama and his neighbor David Shlezinger, of Jackson Township.

Orama suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related ailments. He says that it has been a struggle over the past few days to not have power.

“I took a fall in the hallway. It was so dark, I just walked over the vacuum cleaner,” he says.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy tours staging area as lineman work to restore power to NJ 
MORE: Helpful Links - Power outages in New Jersey 

Orama and Shlezinger have been neighbors for a few years but hadn’t really gotten to know each other all that well. But after Monday’s story, Shlezinger, who has a generator, asked Orama if he needed any help.

“He says, ‘Would you like to have some power for your refrigerator at least?’ So I ran across the street with a couple of extension cords,” Orama says.

Shlezinger says that it was the least he could do to help out a veteran.

“He was in the Gulf War. He had shrapnel, he was injured. I was a baby at the time, but I feel like giving back is the appropriate thing to do,” Shlezinger says.

Orama is now able to keep his food fresh and his cellphone charged.

The two men live on Cannon Boulevard. It will be among the last areas in the state to have power restored because it is a dead-end street with only 13 homes. It will take utility crews a little while to get to them.

“This is when you can actually be neighborly. Not just when you say 'hi,' when you actually need help and someone comes to help you. That is how a neighbor should be,” Orama says.

Utility officials say that power is expected to be restored statewide by Friday evening.

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