Gordy Frack waited 30 minutes Tuesday morning to get an essential commodity – hot, black coffee.
"It was worth it," Frack said after his wait to get two cups of joe at the Wawa on E. Broad Street and Stefko Boulevard in Bethlehem. "I don't think I have anywhere else to go today."
Frack, who lives in the 900 block of Spring Street, lost power at about 9 p.m. Monday and he isn't sure when it will come back. He said other than losing power, and missing work, the worst part of the storm was the long wait for coffee.
"We made it to halftime (of Monday Night Football)," Frack said. "It all went south from there."
Just a few blocks from Frack's west Bethlehem home, an enormous oak tree, and part of another, laid across the intersection of W. North Street and 14th Avenue. Homeowner Steve Smith said his tree fell at 9:30 p.m. He lost one oak tree in last year's October snow storm, all three trees had lined the sidewalk of his property along W. North Street.
"We clear out because of these trees," Smith's neighbor, Pete Carpenter, said of their strategy of parking cars a block or more away. Big hardwoods and a few evergreens line W. North for block after block.
"We were on the other side of the house and we heard a big crash," Carpenter said of the tree coming down Monday night.
Center Street in Bethlehem was still shut down Tuesday around 9 a.m. for a gigantic pine tree that fell across the roadway between Dewberry Avenue and Macada Road.
An old oak smashed the front of a home at 1757 Linden St. in Bethlehem. The tree clobbered a power line and dashed the roof and front porch of the house, but didn't knock out power to next-door neighbor Nelson Greenleaf's home.
"My wife heard it," Greenleaf said. "I walked out and said, 'Holy (crap), a tree fell on the house.'"
Greenleaf said his neighbor, an elderly man, was not home and likely was out of the state Monday night. Greenleaf said his house went untouched, a far cry from last year during the Halloween snow storm when one of his trees crushed his side porch.
Branches and other debris lay scattered along many roads in the city and in places blocked portions of lanes. Crews were seen throughout the city attacking the worst of the damage.
Much of Upper Bucks County was without power Tuesday afternoon. All but a handful of traffic lights from Hilltown to Coopersburg on Route 309 were out and most stores on the commercial strip were dark The sign at the newly opened Faulkner-Ciocca Chevy in Quakertown was shredded, with plastic shards strewn onto the roadway. Long lines snaked around the few fast food restaurants such as the Wendy's at Route 313 and 309, that were able to open. A utility pole, wires hanging, blocked one northbound lane at Route 309 and North Pumping Station Road.
Quakertown's Stephanie Rosenberger, 17, was at the Lowes Home Improvement store on Route 309 at around noon with her aunt Bonnie.
The hurricane left Rosenberger's house without power, and destroyed the family's old-fashioned outhouse. The rest of her family's plumbing was knocked out too because Sandy cut power to their well. Thinking ahead, they had filled their bathtubs with water.
She said she came along with her aunt, who is from Coopersburg, for something to do.
The number of downed trees, blocked roads and darkened storefronts surprised her.
"I've never really been through a hurricane," Rosenberger said.
The line for coffee at Wegmans in Lower Nazareth Township stretched more than 50 people deep Tuesday morning. Some shoppers held as many as four empty cups as they waited.
For Jim Layser, of Palmer Township, waiting in line was a last resort. In the dark since around 9:30 p.m. Monday night, he searched for coffee all morning.
"This is my sixth stop," Layser said.
Some without power were charging cell phones in power outlets, including using the docking station for motorized carts. Others picked up battery operated window candles.
The Target in Lower Nazareth kept its doors open despite having only storm lights. Workers closed off the frozen food section with yellow caution tape. One shopper used the light of her cell phone to look at Barbie and Disney Princess dolls in a darkened toy section aisle.
In Easton more than a dozen streets are closed as the city works to clean up Sandy's mess. Mayor Sal Panto Jr., announced that Wednesday's trick-or-treat was postponed to Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Big lines for daily essentials awaited people at most shops with power. The Wawa on Broad and Stefko had a line of cars waiting to get into the full parking lot, while the Bottom Dollar grocer next door was deserted. Most customers of the Wawa though, found the longest line was for coffee. People picking up other needs, like milk and donuts, flowed in and out of the store.
At the 7-Eleven on E. Broad Street in Bethlehem the line was shorter than the Wawa's, but overwhelmed the available coffee pots. Customers were told to just put their cups under the coffee makers' drips.
Further back in the line at Wegmans, Karen Stangle, of Bethlehem Township, said she would wait "as long as it takes" for caffeine.
After a 10-minute wait, Stangle was still in the produce section, nowhere near the coffee counter.
"At this point, you don't turn back," she said.