MARYVILLE (WATE) – A lawyer in Los Angeles contacted WATE 6 On Your Side Friday, worried about his in-laws who are still without power in Maryville.
Greg Weisman said they are customers are Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative, which still had around 1,600 customers without power, as of Friday evening.
Ray and Gwen Collins’ power went out Monday evening, and all they have for heat is a wood stove. They said it’s better for them to stay home then go somewhere warm.
“We’ve been sitting here all day and going to the cold bedroom at night. We sleep warm but it’s hard to get in a cold bed,” Gwen Collins said.
The temperature stays at 58 during the day near the fire, still a far cry from the 72 degrees the couple is used to. They let the fire die at night when temperatures have been dropping near zero.
“We grew up as country kids so we’ve been here before. We grew up in homes where we had unheated bedrooms, but it’s not comfortable,” she said.
There’s a Red Cross shelter not far away, and they have relatives willing to take them in, but they’ve decided to stay at home.
“He’s a stroke victim and it’s really hard to get him out. It would be better for us to stay in this condition than try to manage him outside the home I think. One of the things he is missing more than anything is his CPAP,” said Gwen Collins.
That’s the electric machine that helps him breathe at night.
“The thing I miss most is hot water for my coffee. I miss the TV. He misses the TV,” she said.
Gwen says she’s called Fort Loudoun Electric several times.
“I’ve never got a live person, but my neighbor across the street did and she even told them about his condition. I guess they’re just overwhelmed.”
Their house is in kind of a strange spot. Most of the homes on their road are on Maryville City power. Only three homes have Fort Loudoun Electric.
The couple reported their power came back on around 7 pm. Friday.
Three shelters are still set up around East Tennessee: Monte Vista Baptist Church in Maryville, First Baptist Church in Kingston and Sequoyah High School in Monroe County.