With no power, people finding different ways to stay cool
July 9, 2012 ·
Many West Virginians have had to operate without electricity for several days, which has forced them to scramble to find ways to keep cool, store food, and even protect their animals.
While power company employees have worked around the clock to get everything back to normal, people affected have done the same-- trying to stay cool and avoid losing too much of their food supplies.
"It’s been fairly difficult, with no power," said Christine Yocum, who lives near Philippi.
She’s survived more than a week without services by using battery fans that she normally uses when she goes camping with her family.
She’s at the Lowe’s store at East Pointe Plaza in Clarksburg, where volunteers, Lowe’s employees and employees of First Energy are giving out free water and ice.
"I might get a case of water, I didn’t realize that they were doing the free ice and water thing or I would brought the cooler from home, and I would have packed it with me," she said.
She says she’s coming back to get some, because what’s left of her food that’s not gone bad is sitting in a cooler on her back porch. And Christine has to look out not only for herself and her family, but something else as well.
"With no power, I don’t have the fans to cool off the animals that I keep in the barn for my kids’ show, lambs and stuff. I have to keep fans on them because it gets so hot in that barn," Yocum said.
"My brother in law, they actually had to go find a generator to turn on their well water, so they could pump water back into their water troughs, because they are almost out of water for his lambs. I keep my show lambs inside for my kid’s 4H projects, because they have to be grained and everything, we have just been hosing them off and tying them up in the shade, with a halter on."
Taylor County resident Rick Rietkovich is also here at Lowe’s, and he’s getting ice and water.
Like Yocum, he hasn’t had power since the storm hit. He’s been staying at his daughter’s house in Fairmont to stay cool meanwhile.
"It’s been very inconvenient, we had to throw everything out of the refrigerator and freezer, it was all junk, it is very hot, hard to get cooled off, you can’t wash clothes, can’t cook, that’s why I’m going to Wal-Mart, I’m going to get some propane, cook on the grill," he said.
This was the first time Rietkovich got ice and water at Lowe’s.
Volunteers, along with Lowe’s employees and First Energy employees are giving away the ice and water at locations in Clarksburg, Parkersburg, Lewisburg, Summersville, Sutton, Martinsburg and Philippi.