Elderly residents struggle for days without power after ice storm

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Many senior citizens are struggling because of the power outages.

At one apartment building, residents had gone five days without power. It was restored Friday afternoon, but it was still a hard week for those living there.

“Black in here. No electric,” 70-year-old Jerry Williams told KFOR before the power came back on.

He had to throw out lots of spoiled food from his refrigerator.

“All these…. got to throw them away,” he said.

65-year-old Arna Gray had to layer up just to stay warm.

“Two pairs [of socks] here,” she said. “I got on one shirt, then another shirt, and this heavy pullover. And gloves, don’t forget the gloves, and I sleep with these on at night.”

She had several layers on her bed as well.

“I sleep under one, two, three blankets, and then this sheet, and if I have on enough clothes then I can pretty much be warm at night,” she said.

She also says getting around was difficult.

“It’s hard for me to walk on my legs sometimes because I’m hurting so bad because of the cold,” she said.

Many residents depended on a local church and family members to bring them food.

Goldie Barclay’s mother lives in the building.

“I’m fed up with this, it’s ridiculous, and it’s cold,” Barclay said.

Deonna Stoner was worried about her grandmother and everyone living there.

“I brought hand warmers, gloves, foot warmers, blankets, anything to try to keep them warm,” she said.

OG&E says they’re working as quickly as they can across the state. They prioritize hospitals and first responder agencies.

“Right now we have crews all over the place, working in every location, including the metro, and we have over 300 crews working in the metro area, we also have crews in the rural areas as well,” David Kimmel, spokesperson for OG&E said.

He says it could be next week before every customer has power back up.

“We’re looking at the end of next week. I know that’s not what everybody wants to hear,” he said.

Before the power came back, Gray was hoping some consideration would be given to residents like her.

“We’re not trying to be selfish or anything like that, but it would knock down a lot of the misery that we’re going through with our health issues and stuff like that,” Gray said.

Kimmel also says people may think they’re not seeing very many crews out because lots are in unmarked white trucks instead of the orange OG&E ones.

Sometimes people also live far away from where the root of the problem is. 

“A lot of the restoration work is going to take place sometimes many miles away from your neighborhood,” Kimmel said.

 

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