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During blackout, man uses Toyota Prius to light house

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Amid continued power outages in parts of the Northeast, many residents found temporary refuge from cold and dark homes inside their cars. For one New Jersey man, he used the power from his hybrid car to light up his entire house.

Bob Sakala of Paramus says he bought his Toyota Prius Hybrid in June to save gas. In the week since the storm, he powered his home -- including lights, laptops and a television -- on three quarters of a tank of gas. Sakala says he first read about the Prius' use as a power source years ago on the internet.


After the storm, and the resulting power outage, he thought he'd give it a try. He ended up powering a few lights, his TV, laptop and modem with a 100 watt power inverter and a few heavy-duty extension cords he purchased at Home Depot. He later moved to a 300 watt inverter, which let him power more lights. 

"The neighbors kept saying, 'Does Bob have a generator?' No, it's the Prius. It's a spaceship," he said.  

Although he couldn't plug in a heater to the car, Sakala said he was happy to keep the lights on, something hundreds of thousands of customer are without in New York and New Jersey. 

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At the storm's peak, more than 8.5 million homes and businesses across 21 states lost power. As of Thursday, that was down to about 750,000, almost entirely in New York and New Jersey. 

Thursday's nor'easter overnight knocked out power to more than 200,000 customers in New York and New Jersey, erasing some of the progress made by utility crews. Power was restored to Sakala's block Thursday evening.