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Dinwiddie residents brace for more days without power

Updated: Feb. 21, 2021 at 10:08 PM EST
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DINWIDDIE, Va. (WWBT) - As Southside Electric Cooperative continues its work to restore power to residents in their service area, some people in Dinwiddie are bracing for the next couple of days without power.

James Eckenrode, a resident of Dinwiddie, lost power on Feb. 13 during the first ice storm.

“We were running off a generator, extension cords coming into the house,” Eckenrode said. “We were fortunate to have a friend that came over and was able to get us set up a little better so we were able to run out refrigerator and freezer.”

Five days later, they got their electricity back. On Thursday, Feb. 18, they lost their power again.

This situation encouraged Eckenrode to get into a new routine.

“In the morning, the first thing I’ve got to do is get out and I have to top off those generators because they’re about to run out,” he said. “Every third day, we got to go fill up all the gas cans because, by the third day, they’re all going to be empty.”

Eckenrode also says their work continues through the night to make sure they don’t lose heat in the middle of the night.

“At night time, we try to time it around 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. at night to refill the generator it’ll run throughout the entire night,” Eckenrode said.

On Saturday, Southside Electric Cooperative said they’re working to get 95% of their homes restored by Wednesday afternoon, but says some homes may not have light until the end of the month.

Eckenrode wishes the company could provide more information to their customers individually about when they’ll have electricity again.

“Not knowing is the most frustrating and scary part,” he said. “It costs me too. I mean, we’re talking about $700 to $800 in fuel already you know just maintaining it for a week and a half.”

Despite the power outage, Eckenrode says the situation has shown him the power of the community.

“I’ve had plenty of friends offer help just on the internet saying, ‘Hey you need anything? I’ll be there,’” he said. “We’ve been pretty fortunate in that case.”

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