CROSSVILLE (WATE) – A week after an ice storm wreaked havoc on Cumberland County, nearly two thousand people are still without power.
One woman took matters into her own hands to help out the community she calls home.
Cumberland County High School only lost power for a day after the ice storm hit, and culinary arts teacher Linda Kington said once she realized the scope of the damage, she knew she needed to do something and she had the kitchen to do it.
“I looked outside and knew it was something that we had not had here since I had been here,” she said.
Most of the snow and ice is gone, but signs of the damage it left behind across Cumberland County are still there.
“I’ve never seen this much devastation. We’ve had tornadoes before but we’ve never been hit this big as a whole,” said Kington.
Kington said she just wanted to help, and the best way she knew how was to feed people.
“My first reaction was I have a big kitchen, so I’ll volunteer. I felt like it was what I should do more for me personally because I felt so blessed that we already had our power back on,” she said.
She started cooking in the school culinary arts kitchen, delivering up to 1000 meals per day to shelters, first responders and even electric crews working day and night to restore power throughout the county.
“We had food that the school was going to lose and so they donated to us and we have been utilizing that food which has really been a blessing because it’s very expensive to feed this many people three meals a day,” she said.
It has not been an easy task. She fired up the stove at 5:00 most mornings, but she said it has been rewarding to see the people of her community come together to help each other through the darkest of times.
“The neat thing has been the way the businesses and the churches have come together and worked together, and it’s just been a real blessing to be a part of,” she said.
Kington said they are also planning to give food out to people who have lost everything in their home freezers and refrigerators since the power has been out.
There is a disaster relief fund set up at Cumberland County Bank that will help pay for anything needed to get the community back on its feet.