Maryland Power Outages Linger: 'Life Just Stops When You Lose Electricity ... In The Country'

11/05/2012 09:20 am ET | Updated Jan 05, 2013
  • Patti S. Borda The Frederick News-Post

Flushing toilets and brushing teeth seemed like luxuries for Barbara Cline after six days without power near Yellow Springs.

"I never dreamed it would be a week," Cline said Sunday.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency reported 333 Frederick residents without power Sunday at 8:30 p.m. According to the First Energy website, the company estimated all power in Frederick would be restored by Tuesday.

No electricity meant no well water for Cline. Hurricane Sandy shut the power off Monday at about 8 p.m., and electric service returned Sunday at 2:15 p.m., she said.

"It's on, it's on," she said neighbors shouted out their windows Sunday afternoon to one another.

First Cline wanted to do some laundry, and then restock the refrigerator.

Sandy took down power lines, tore shingles from Cline's roof, let water into her ceiling drywall, and toppled trees into her fence and her yard. She said some of her neighbors were hit even harder, with flooded basements added to the disastrous mix.

Cline's insurance company responded immediately and repairs are scheduled, but the power stayed off. Her daughter in Long Island, N.Y., lost and got back power before Cline did.

A neighbor put up a yard sign pleading with the utility company to restore power.

Propane heaters, extra socks and piles of blankets helped keep her and her husband warm while they waited. Oil lamps brightened some of the darkness.

"You go to bed at like 7 o'clock," she said.

"Life just stops when you lose electricity ... in the country."

Her home-based cruise booking business had to run by cellphone while she had no cable, no Internet and no land lines. She and her husband showered at friends' homes and carried back water so they could flush the toilets once a day.

Modern life's conveniences spoil people a little, she said.

"Flush your toilet and brush your teeth -- the two luxuries I missed the most," she said. ___

(c)2012 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)

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