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Medula Oblongata
02-18-2007, 06:37 AM
http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_048002512.html



Exclusive: Andrew Victim Gets Power After 15 Years
Cutler Bay Woman Lived In the Dark Since Hurricane Andrew
Shoddy Repairs Prevented Her From Connecting Electricity
Volunteers Helped End 15 Years Of Cold Showers

Natalia Zea
Reporting

(CBS4) CUTLER BAY An elderly woman who had been living without power in her home due to hurricane damage was finally seeing the light Friday night, when power to her home was restored. What makes her story amazing is that the hurricane which put her in the dark was Andrew, almost 15 years ago, and she's been living without power to her house since August 24, 1992.

No heat when the winter chill settled over South Florida. No air conditioning when the mercury climbed into the 90's and the humidity clung to 100% .

Not one hot shower at home in nearly 15 years. Every morning started with an icy blast.

"I think it's like everything, you learn how to step into it, and wait, and when you feel it, you take your quick shower," she recalled.

Norena, who didn't want her full name used because she is embarrassed by her situation, lives in Cutler Bay, and her home was severely damaged when Hurricane Andre slammed South Miami-Dade in August, 1992.

Like many people after that horrific storm, she had a problem with an unscrupulous contractor, and when the money from the insurance settlement ran out, the contractor did too, leaving her home half-repaired and not up to code, which meant it would not have the electricity connected.

She didn't have the money to complete the work, and she didn't have anyplace else to go.

"It just never got done, and the money was gone, so I couldn't do a lot of things to allow me with Dade county to get my power back on," she said.

So she lived with it. She celebrated the new millennium with one tiny lamp and a single burner. On the 10th anniversary of Andrew in 2002, her neighbors celebrated their recovery; she was still living in the disaster.

Electrical contractor Kent Crook was amazed when he saw how she managed to get a tiny amount of electricity into the house for a Spartan existence.

"She has extension cords running into her house, plugged into a tiny little refrigerator and a cook top, and a lamp or two in front of her house," he marveled.

Somehow, her situation fell through the cracks. Her neighbors never noticed her near-pioneer lifestyle, and County code inspectors never caught the violations which prevented her from connecting up the power.

A tip got the city and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez involved, along with a visit from Crook's company. A few hours of work and an inspection was all it took to get the power flowing again to her home. When darkness fell Friday night, she no longer had to huddle in a single dimly lit room.

Something as simple as getting light by flicking a wall switch, something most people do a dozen times a day without thinking, almost overwhelmed Norena.

"It's hard to describe having it come on, to switch on. It's overwhelming," she said.

Now, her house is flooded with light, and the hot water is flowing through the pipes for the first time since that terrible night in August, 1992 when the wind shook her home to its foundations and set her life on end.

Her plan is to let the water get hot, really hot, and then take her first bubble bath, in her own bathtub, in a decade and a half.

While the power is back on, and Norena is again living in the 21st century, many problems remain. Her home still needs repair, and her overgrown yard is a danger in future hurricanes.

Volunteers say they'll be back to help clean up the yard and assist with repairs, but for now Norena is happy for one thing.

She can say "Let there be light", and there will be.

All I can say is "WoW!!!"

And to the volunteers... "Where the Fudge where you 15 years ago!?!" Seriously, though, :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

jmz5
02-18-2007, 09:12 AM
I wounder where that original contractor is, I bet there are some people that would love to have some words with that clown. Glad to see her community (finally) pulled together to get her house repaired.

rangermonroe
02-18-2007, 09:18 AM
Volunteers say they'll be back to help clean up the yard and assist with repairs

Sorry, no sympathy here.

Regardless of circumstances, an individual is surrounded by potential 'volunteers', all you have to do is ask.

Furthermore; volunteers are not needed to 'clean up the yard'. Folks who will sit in the dark for 15 years, waiting on 'someone' to come and fix their problems (unless mentally incompetent), should be scolded.

Electricity is not needed to pick up the yard.

jmz5
02-18-2007, 09:39 AM
Thats true, but it does say she is an elderly woman, but that doesn't say how elderly she is, or if she handicapped in any way.

Medula Oblongata
02-18-2007, 10:53 AM
I saw a picture of her, she looks to be in her late 80's. There is a link to a news story video on that page I linked too.

rangermonroe
02-18-2007, 12:30 PM
Well, if she is that old, then I do empathize a little.

Heartless b@$tard I am not, but I have seen so many willing 'victims' that my skepticism runs deeper than most.

wetwrks
02-18-2007, 07:46 PM
Someone needs to look up the contractor who left her high and dry...and report him. Wonder how many others he has done this to?

jmz5
02-18-2007, 07:51 PM
No, someone needs to kick his a$$, then report him. How does somone leave an old lady hanging like that? Even if she didn't have any money.
:soap:

panzermk2
02-18-2007, 09:37 PM
In her 80's would mean more then likely she has lived through worse. That generation did't run whining to some government office for help. A child of the depression They made due with what they had. How many of us b!tch when the hot water heater runs out before we are done and she showerd cold instead of stinking up the place. Also kept her mouth shut to everyone as the story states reminds me of my Grandma down in Iowa on the family farm.

Medula Oblongata
02-18-2007, 11:02 PM
In her 80's would mean more then likely she has lived through worse. That generation did't run whining to some government office for help. A child of the depression They made due with what they had. How many of us b!tch when the hot water heater runs out before we are done and she showerd cold instead of stinking up the place. Also kept her mouth shut to everyone as the story states reminds me of my Grandma down in Iowa on the family farm.
Never heard of the "New Deal," the TVA, Social Security, Soup and Bread Lines (Gov't funded), etc?

That generation INVENTED welfare and demanded that it become an entitlement.

panzermk2
02-18-2007, 11:07 PM
Actualy the government and My Grandma would never think of going anywhere near that crap

Medula Oblongata
02-19-2007, 12:19 AM
?

Not sure I understood what you meant. Are you saying 'the government of your grandma,' or 'the government and your grandma.'

Lets not forget that the 'new deal' democrats represented more than 80% of America at one time..

panzermk2
02-19-2007, 01:07 AM
I meant the government gave us this hell called welfare starting rite there.
My grandma was a democrat switched when Ronnie did. but never she and the family never went and got any hand out. They just worked the farm harder (if thats possible), made cloths from rags, went to church and just plain busted thier ass's

Medula Oblongata
02-19-2007, 01:12 AM
LIke good people do.

However, too many people have no family to help them, are homebound, etc.

On the other hand, too many people have been duped by the Social Security and public welfare lie. I don't pity the stupid, gullible, weak...