CITY OF NEWBURGH – City residents turned out by the hundreds at the Newburgh Armory on Thursday to take advantage of Central Hudson’s offer of free dry ice and bottled water.

Chantel Green was one of them.

She’s been without power for three days and lost food in her freezer.

“How are we supposed to get that back?” she asked. “There’s no help for regular working people, and I don’t qualify for social services. And it’s about to get hot and nasty.”

Green, like others waiting at the Armory, was trying not to complain. She reminded herself that she was more fortunate than the Newburgh mother whose 11-year-old daughter died Tuesday when a tree limb fell on her car.

At one point, close to 90 percent of the city’s 11,194 Central Hudson customers were without power after Tuesday’s violent storm, which took down dozens of trees, leaving many roads blocked.

By Thursday afternoon, power had been restored to nearly half of the city. And Central Hudson estimated all city residents could see power restored by 10 p.m. Friday.

But a lot of food could spoil in the meantime without the dry ice.

“We’ve got a big deep freeze and we’re trying to save everything,” said Raymond Cunningham. “We had a cookout last night, we’re having another one tonight, and we’re giving away as much as we can.”

He, too, was projecting a positive outlook: “I’m alive, and nobody is hurting in my family. After I get the dry ice and water, I’m going home to take care of my mother-in-law and the kids, and try to get through it.”

“It’s been pretty bad,” Sandra Creary said. “We had trouble getting home (on Tuesday) because there were trees down in all the roads. And eating in restaurants gets expensive, so we’re buying a grill and trying to grill everything in our freezer.”

And while it would be a relatively minor inconvenience, Creary will be disappointed if power is not back on in time for a major international event on Saturday.

“We wanted to watch the royal wedding,” she said with a smile.

Marlene Wren was another city resident who was counting her blessings as she waited in line at the Armory.

She, too, was thinking of the mother of the 11-year-old girl.

“I’d rather be without electricity than to be dealing with what that mother is dealing with,” she said.