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Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah
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Town Keeps Bedford Going Through Outages

BEDOFRD HILLS, N.Y. – During the thick of Saturday’s snowstorm, and through the beginning of the restoration period afterward, few places in Bedford were available for locals to find refuge.

The Bedford Hills Community House was one of those rare places, and for two straight days gave local residents power, nourishment, and shelter. The Community House was supported by the Bedford Town Government, lending workers to the cause from Saturday until Monday night.

“We provided a warm shelter and a hot drink, that was the main purpose of it,” said Kim O’Brian, who is on the town’s recreation staff. “It’s not for long term. We don’t have shower facilities. But it worked out really well.”

The local community emergency response team unit was in action, at the house, represented by Bedford Police Officers Vincent Guppusso and Jason Waxler.

“The main functions for the shelter for most people were getting them warm, and recharging their cell phones and computers, and get back in touch with the world,” said Waxler.

For some locals, it was more than just a few hours of recharging. It included a full night’s stay for warmth.

“They came to my aid as far as the heat for the sleeping area, otherwise my son was very anxious for me to be warm during the night,” said longtime Mount Kisco resident Lillian Smilkstein. “It all worked out all right, they’ve been very hospitable. Even when I got up at 5 a.m. in the morning, there was someone to escort me.”

Bill Heidepriem, the superintendent of the Bedford Recreation and Parks Department, was also instrumental in keeping the house running smoothly. Even Bedford building inspector Steven Fraietta was working non-stop, retrieving ice from New York State Electricity and Gas in Brewster and delivering it to the Town House in Bedford.

“We’re going do it for as long as they have the ice, which they seem to be filled with, and as long as people keep coming to pick it up," Fraietta said. "It’s moving very quickly, though.”

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