Friday, February 06, 2009

Day 11 without Power in Suburban Paducah

Oy vey.
Yesterday was a bad day. A call to Jackson Purchase Electric brought a chilling answer to my query of when the power might be back on. The Jackson Purchase Electric spokesperson responded, "Not for a long time." And then he laughed. He further told me, when I suggested they needed more help under the circumstances, that they "had no place to put" more help and that it would likely be mid-next week before my power was restored (recent press releases previously estimated end of this week). You can only imagine how crestfallen I was at this news. When I suggested again that they had inadequate help considering the magnitude of the problem I was told, "Honey, you can just grab a hammer and come on down here if you think you can do any better."
That's when I hung up.
I won't be calling again.
A worker knocked on my door this morning requesting I turn off my generator so he could clear the remaining trees from our power lines, a concession I was happy to make. I wish this were an indication that the power will be on soon, but have learned not to hope.

Thanks to all of you who have extended generous invitations to both my dogs and I to stay in your electrified homes. Your concern means everything and knowing you care so much helps more than you can imagine at this point. So many of you have shown concern and various kindnesses to me throughout this ordeal. You know who you are. Thank you so much.

With the Husky, I continue to be minimally equipped to stay put. Next door, my mother has perfected the art of cooking biscuits in a cake pan atop her Kerosene heater. She flips them rather like burgers and they taste delicious. The Husky generates adequate power for us both to run heaters, TVs, and a few lamps.

Both Mom and I faced the faced the grim tasks (me last night, her this morning) of clearing our respective refrigerators of what once was food. In the beginning, we had a strict policy just not to open the doors of the appliances; back when we thought the power would be restored "just any day now". Having given up this hope, we could postpone the job no longer. I'll leave it to you to imagine the gagifying nature of the process. Thankfully, it is done now, and we have washed out and stuffed the now empty appliances with many boxes of baking soda in the hope that the lingering putrid smell can at some point be eliminated.

Thankfully, there is a warming trend predicted weather-wise and we may see temperatures as high as in the sixties this weekend. It is surprising to me how demoralizing living without electricty is for those of us still experiencing it. As I wrote previously, we continue to be tired no matter how much sleep we manage to get and it is quite a struggle to remain positive; much harder than I would have thought before I experienced it myself. On a happier note, most of my friends in places like Lone Oak, Littleville, Reidland, the Southside, and Lowertown are back on the grid.

Someday, we'll all be there. I think.


J Patrick Kerr said...

I think it is only fair for your readers to know that the "update" that you got from me was from your phone call to my cell phone and not through the regular channels. The conversation we had was "business associate to business associate" and not customer to company. I am certainly not going to get into a he said she said argument through a blog; however, it is important your readers know that you are telling one side of a phone conversation without any context. Further, while you have certainly been inconvenienced, JPEC employees have been working around-the-clock in horrible circumstances - and not just linemen. Many customer service representatives have slept on the floor of their office and continue to be without power themselves. As a company, we are asking patience and understanding from our customers, as well as compassion for fellow customers, many of whom are in much worse shape than you. Including several hundred who are suffering with no water or sewer service because electric pumps are not operating. More than 200 lineworkers are in the field around-the-clock to restore service. More arrive everyday. Work is being done to restore the most number of people as fast as possible. That means that a large line serving 300 or 400 people will take precedent over your line that serves the 30 houses on your street.
J. Patrick Kerr
Corporate Communications
Jackson Purchase Energy

Bruce Wayne Gardner said...

I am sorry about your power (electric), but it is heartening to note that you have sufficient power of another type to generate flack as your line up for a bombing run on JPEC.

My power came back and Paducah Power, after telling me there was NO realistic chance it would be before today and possibly mid-next week, worked well into the darkness and got my little square of blackness lit.

For me, I don't know what working conditions at the power companies must be like, but laughing at anyone, no matter the context, is ... well, laughable.

Hang in there and continue giving 'em hell.

Laura said...

OOOOH! The shit hitteth the fan....oh, wait, the fan isn't working...


DDuke said...

JPK needs to shut up an get his worthless behind out there and do a man's job for the first time in his life--giggling at the plight of human beings in distress and hanging on in life and death situations--and who are customers no less and pay his salary--its mind blowing and completely unacceptable--the fact he admits it warrants his immediate dismissal.

Suzanne said...


Your cell phone number is listed ON YOUR JPEC PRESS RELEASES. Might want to make a note to yourself that that means communications through that channel are, indeed, official; doubly so when you are talking about, say, electricity.

I have no doubt that JPEC employees are working just as hard as you say and I appreciate their efforts.

As you know my account of our conversation is, unfortunately, accurate; if you consider our exchange "associate to associate", I am saddened to think of how you treat someone you DON'T know personally.

Suzanne said...


YAY! I'm so happy you have power! Flip a few switches in my honor ;)

BasicWiz said...

My goodness! I certainly would have thought that, given the circumstances, Mr. Kerr would surely have had many more important items on his agenda than to engage himself in such a personal and defensive posture on this blog. This poor gal seems to be VERY fair and patient given her plight and that of so many others. Actually, I find his post somewhat repulsive, unprofessional and certainly inappropriate as a corporate communication, as evidenced by the "signature". After this emergency passes, maybe JPE should review its Corporate Communications effort. Quite unfortunate, indeed.