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Falls Church Recreation Center Serving Many Needs After Sandy

People have found many uses for the community center as the city rebounds from Hurricane Sandy.

Kevin McCall is one of the 960 Falls Church customers without power.

McCall said her power went out Monday around 4 p.m. but she ventured out to the Falls Church Community Center to charge her cell phone Tuesday. The outage isn’t what bothers McCall, it’s the affects from Hurricane Sandy that angers her.

“Having to throw everything away in the refrigerator is what’s bothering me,” she said. “Other than that, I’m alright.”

Tuesday, several people gathered at the community center to charge cell phones, watch television and shoot some hoops. Daniel Schlitt, director of the cities Recreation and Parks Department, said the center is running on a generator after losing power around 3:30 p.m. Monday. He said the center’s generator has a 36-hour timeframe before it needs to be refilled. The center is expected to close at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Getting out was next to impossible for Richard Jenkins. After having foot surgery recently, Jenkins has been rehabbing and Hurricane Sandy prevented that Monday. Just out for a walk around Falls Church Tuesday morning, Jenkins realized the community center was open and he decided to shoot some hoops.

“It’s physical therapy for me,” he said. “It was by accident. I didn’t know it was open but I’m glad it was.”

Schlitt said there were about 50 kids playing basketball at the center Monday when the power went out but the generator was put into action right away. He said as the Monday loomed on and reports of an increasing storm got out, that crowd dissipated to less than 10 people. The left over crowd were others who had lost power and needed to charge their phones. The center closed its doors around 7 p.m., Schlitt said.

Tuesday, Schlitt said he expects to see those suffering from “cabin fever.”

“A few people who are still without power will come in and about mid-day, we’ll get kids in to plat basketball to blow off some steam,” Schlitt said. “We’re glad to be here to provide a comfort shelter.”

Get updates on power restoration and more on Falls Church Patch throughout the day.

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