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Power problems create misery for many following Sandy

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Nov 01 2012 05:55:03 PM CDT

Bethany Engler has been using a generator to keep her fridge running. Her son has diabetes, and she can't put his medicine on ice.

PIKE TWP., Pa. -

Bethany Engler has been using a generator to keep her refrigerator running.  Her son has diabetes, and she can't put his medicine on ice.

"I keep the insulin we're using up here," said Engler, pointing to the upper shelf on the fridge's door.

Since Monday night, Engler said she's been running the generator in shifts. 

"Because of gas being $3.63 a gallon, we'll run it for a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon and then a few in the evening," said Engler, who knows it could be worse. "We were lucky. We didn't have any trees come down and hit the house."

The Englers' home is surrounded by trees, so the family isn't surprised it's without power, but the question is for how long.

"When I call, every person tells you something different," said Engler.

When she called Tuesday, Engler said Met-Ed told her they were working on it.

"One time, it's they're working on your problem," said Engler. "The next day, 'Oh, we're coming out to investigate what the problem is.' So you never really get a straight answer from them."

And Engler said not getting a straight answer makes it difficult to budget for gas to keep the medicine cold and to decide whether to stay or go.

"If we don't have power by tomorrow evening, I will probably leave," said Engler, adding that Met-Ed told her it could be back this weekend, but her neighbors said they were told early next week.

A spokesperson for Met-Ed said the most accurate information is on the website, though it does not list restoration times for specific areas. It has a general restoration message. The utility is working with its customer service staff to make sure that accurate and consistent information is given out.  

The Englers, however, said the information has been anything but consistent.

"If it's not to next week, just tell me that," said Engler. "It's all we care about."