Atlantans Without Power Cope With Generators, A Little Help From Friends | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlantans Without Power Cope With Generators, A Little Help From Friends

Sep 14, 2017

More than 170,000 homes and businesses in the 10-county metro Atlanta area were still without power Wednesday afternoon, according to Georgia Power and Georgia EMC outage maps. 

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Outside the Taproom Coffee shop on Hosea Williams Drive, Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum rocked her newborn, Emilia, back and forth in her lap.

“I had breast milk stored up, and we've got to keep my pump clean, and, you know, it's just hard to take care of a baby without power," she said.

She said in order to care for her child, she has been staying with friends in Inman Park and Edgewood who did not lose power for the past few days.  

Lengthy Outage

Next door, outside a pub in the Kirkwood neighborhood, Jack Welch had lunch with his wife Michelle because they threw out everything in their refrigerator Tuesday night.

"We didn't expect this to last as long as it did,” Welch said. “From Monday till today, my wife has been home by herself and kind of just struggling through, so we don't want that to happen again."

That's why Welch said he purchased a generator for $800. He said he called more than 20 stores in Georgia and neighboring states and was told they were out of stock on generators.

More than 3,000 people in the East Lake area were without power Wednesday.

Residents in Kirkwood said they were told by Georgia Power representatives that their area would likely be the last in the city to regain power.

There were lots of customers with laptops inside the Dulce Vegan Bakery and Cafe on Hosea Williams Drive in Kirkwood. Owner Howell Belser said a lot of produce had to be thrown out when they lost power Monday and Tuesday.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Business Impact

Several businesses along Hosea Williams Drive in the Kirkwood neighborhood were without power Monday and Tuesday, but they saw long lines Wednesday. Around the neighborhood, trees partially or completely blocked smaller streets and some major avenues.  

Howell Belser lives in Ormewood Park but works in Kirkwood as the owner of the Dulce Vegan Bakery and Cafe, which was open to customers Wednesday.

“We lost power for about 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday, but it hasn’t been too bad for the business district in Kirkwood,” Belser said. “We definitely lost some produce that we had to throw out from the fridges, so a little extra prep and having to be careful about food safety with the power outage.”

“Georgia Power expects to have service restored to 95 percent of customers impacted by Hurricane Irma, who can accept power, by Sunday night,” said Georgia Power spokesperson Ashley West.

Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft told "Morning Edition" host Denis O'Hayer that certain areas to restore power are prioritized.

"It's based on vital public services like hospitals, police and fire, water treatment, things like that and then where we can get the most customers back the quickest," Kraft said.

Brook Hewitt lives in the Sargent Hills neighborhood of Scottdale in DeKalb County. She said she and her family have been without power since Monday afternoon.

“I think we all need to keep it in perspective,” Hewitt said. “I see a lot of people on social media getting really caustic about the power company, and the fact is that this is very minimal on the scale of problems in the world. A lot of these Georgia Power employees lost power themselves. I do wish the website had worked a lot better. It didn’t give me the updates I hoped it would, but a good attitude is key.”