Frustration is boiling over after three days without power in a Winder community.
Some of the seniors who live there say it's now a life-or-death situation, with many of them unable to use their breathing machines for medical issues like COPD.
"There’s power all around us here within a 50-yard range, and for some reason or another they cannot charge the power line for 70 units right here and they cannot explain to us why they can’t charge it,” Ricky Casper said, clearly agitated. “We have several elderly people in here. Some of them are 80 plus years old."
The senior citizens along East Wright Street in Winder didn't expect the power to come back on as quickly as tropical Storm Irma took it out Monday, but three days in and many of them have had it. The electric-powered breathing machines some of them rely on to get them through the day are now useless.
“If you don’t got power, you don’t got your medicine. It’s as simple as that,” said Mark Dodd, who has lung cancer and has had six bypasses. His wife says she almost had to take him to the emergency room Tuesday night when condition worsened.
“If I do not get to use this, I really cannot get to breathing,” another neighbor, Stanley Healan said.
He, too, has a host of lung issues and needs his medication at least every six hours, but the machine that administers the medication doesn’t work without electricity.
“We can’t take baths, we can’t shave, all our groceries that we bought when the storm hit have now rotted and the refrigerators have defrosted, and they are just running into the floor,” Casper added.
Part of the frustration is what these community members see as Georgia Power leaving them in dark in more ways than one.
“I’m wondering why the power is restored on certain streets right here, here on Broad Street and the other streets behind us, but this one section does not have power and no one wants to give us any information,” Healan said.
He and other neighbors say their repeated calls to the power company produced no real answers, which is why they reached out to 11Alive.
According to Georgia Power, the delay in is caused by a downed tree that has fallen on the power line which supplies electricity to the small apartment complex and a few nearby homes.
They say until the tree can be cut and cleared, those serviced by that power line have to remain in the dark.
“I have to watch it, because I’m easy to fall,” said 86-year-old Helen Jenkins as she moved slowly with her walker around her dark apartment.
Georgia Power says it has a crew in the area working to get the power line untangled and back on. The company wouldn't say how long that job should take, but say they are working as fast as they can.
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