But there were also signs of discord and tension during the flood. Looters broke into abandoned homes, stealing for survival or opportunity. Angry crowds exacted vigilante justice on the thieves, sometimes tying them to telephone poles or lynching them. Scattered gunfights broke out, especially in the hard-hit suburban towns, and police closed off vulnerable neighborhoods, especially those where malfunctioning streetlights left the area in the total darkness of the long, winter nights.