As power is restored, the crisis isn't over
Sign in sheets hang from a table at the Ansted Baptist Church. Workers say there is still great need for food.
July 10, 2012 ·
While Appalachian Power has worked to restore much of the electricity in the state lost from storms on June 29, some people remain in the dark. As the lights come back on, many are without food.
“We’re going on day 9 now without power," Ansted Baptist Church member Jennifer Campbell said. "People are still, in this area, without power and they’re still coming in."
Campbell has helped to coordinate services at the church since power was restored at the building last Wednesday.
“We’re having people stop in as they go through who have exhausted their resources trying to provide for their families," she said.
Campbell stands behind a table sprinkled with sign-in sheets and toothbrushes.
The lunch rush is over. Less than a dozen people sit close to the door ready to help the next person in need. Joann Brewer brought her grandchildren with her to find help.
“Yes, I was wondering if I could get some ice," Brewer tells the lady behind the table, "and if you had any more MRE’s."
Like hundreds of thousands of West Virginians, Joann Brewer lost power on Friday June 29.
“Miserable, very very miserable," she explained. "What money you do have you’re running around trying to find something to eat or ice and you hear there’s ice hear and then you go and there’s no ice."
"It’s just rough. It’s just rough. You sit out on the porch in the evenings to try to be cool but when you go to be at night it’s so miserably hot you just can’t sleep. You’re just exhausted and it’s like a never ending camping trip for me. And one thing I don’t do is camp."
Brewer is a diabetic and says she lost 9 bottles of insulin along with a freezer full of food. Still, she tries to stay positive.
“I just take one day at a time there’s no sense in getting all frustrated everything will happen when it happens," she said.
"I’m not saying I’m a Ms. Sunshine. I’m fighting emotions in the inside but there’s no sense in being hateful.”
While much of the state’s electricity has been restored, there are still several pockets that remain in the dark. Up a narrow road just outside of Ansted in Fayette County, folks are still waiting to get their electricity back.
Generators roar outside many of the modest homes. Inside I find more than heat, but people clinching hope.
"I just deal with it," a widow tells me.
"It’s been really hard," another lady explains, "especially in a mobile home. It’s super super hot."
“Keep on hanging in there it’ll get better."
AEP’s hotline says this neighborhood should have power by midnight Tuesday.
Still those in Pt. Pleasant, and Ripley will most likely have to wait until tomorrow. Even with power, Campbell says points out there's more work to do.
"The emergency is not over," she said.
“People lost all of their food and for the most part if they’ve had generators they’re sinking a lot of money into gas to keep those generators running."
"So what we're seeing now is yes people have power but there’s still such a need to feed people."