As I write this column, my electricity has been out for five days due to the pre-Christmas ice storm. Some of my staff also suffered without electricity for various periods after the storm.
Electricity is something we often take for granted. However, when the electricity goes out, we realize how much we depend on having electricity, especially those of us with no other heat source.
The recent power outage made me and my staff realize how our clients feel when they cannot pay their electric bills and lose their power. While I had a place I could stay, many of our clients have no place to go when they don’t have electricity.
One of my staff members who lives in the Waynedale area was without power, including heat, beginning on Friday morning. She tried to tough it out with her husband at their home.
By Saturday noon, she said she was so cold she just couldn’t take it anymore; and she and her husband went to a neighbor’s home who had heat. After they got warmed up, they returned home and decided to go to get something to eat.
All she could think of when they went out was getting some hot soup and that soup tasted so good. She said after eating the soup, she thought about the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen and what a great service they provide to those who might not otherwise get a hot meal.
Finally, Saturday evening they gave up and went to stay with a friend who had an extra bed. Before they left their very cold home, they put blankets out for their pets and made sure their pets had food and water. Their power was restored late Sunday night.
My staff member said not only was the cold difficult physically, there was an emotional aspect as well. She said after being cold for so long, she felt she couldn’t think very well.
She was very worried about her home too. Would the pipes freeze? How much would they lose in their refrigerator and freezer? Would her plants die? And, what about the huge mess of trees and limbs down in the back yard?
Besides making us more aware of the problems often encountered by our clients, the ice storm again impressed upon us how we in this community take care of each other.
Neighbors checked on neighbors. Friends and neighbors with electricity offered their homes to those without power. Churches and food banks opened their doors to help those without power. Shelters were opened not only for people, but also for their pets.
We in Wayne Township are very fortunate to live in such a caring community.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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