Scottsdale flashlight helps New Yorker through superstorm Sandy

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A New York man is crediting a pocket flashlight from Scottsdale for helping power his family through Superstorm Sandy.

Jim Pantaleno, who happened to be visiting the Valley, stopped by an emergency preparedness fair while visiting Scottsdale in September.

“The hospital was handing out these little flashlights,” said Pantaleno who stuck one in his pocket.  “That’s how I came to have it in my possession when this terrible storm hit.”

Pantaleno now describes the freebie from Scottsdale Healthcare as his “beacon,” during the storm.

“It threw a very bright light; the battery never died after nine days,” said Pantaleno who described it worked much better than his larger flashlights, allowing him to maneuver through his dark home for more than a week.

His power has since been restored, but thousands of other New Yorkers are still waiting.

“I used to work for a local utility. I know the enormous job they have,” he said.

Dozens of Arizona Utility workers are among the crews working around the clock to get the lights back on,  more than a week after the monster storm.

“We’ve been living on Staten Island 41 years now; I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Pantaleno.

“I think people who experienced this will get religion and certainly get their emergency kits beefed up.”

Pantaleno adds his kit will no doubt include his serendipitous flashlight from Scottsdale.