2 weeks after storm, some Altus residents remain without power

Altus_Some Altus residents remained without power Thursday night after devastating storms hit two weeks ago.  The damage caused by the 87 miles-per-hour straight-line winds tore through the town knocking down power poles, trees, and some buildings.  The city has had the power back up for the most part, but for some residents it has cost hundreds - even thousands- of dollars in lost food and repair costs.  However, there may be some relief for them soon.

Janie Martinez says the June 5 storm was the worst she has ever seen.  "By the time you knew it, there was stuff everywhere," she said.  It wasn't only downed tree limbs and power poles that caused damage, it was the power loss that hurt the most, costing residents hundreds of dollars in spoiled food when their refrigerators were off.  "Some people had already done their grocery shopping, with freezers full of food," said Andrea Farmer with Catholic Charities.  "But, with the electricity being off, now everything has spoiled."

Not many people can afford to replace a month's worth of groceries, but it isn't the only cost in the aftermath of the storm.  While the city has nearly every broken power pole up, and most people have power to their home, some have none.  Electrician Stan Holland says the storm caused a lot of damage to the electrical boxes on the homes themselves, so they aren't able to get power from the city.  "It's been real hard on folks...I mean it's been very hard," he said.  Holland and his crew have been working seven days per week to try and repair the boxes.

Some electrical repairs cost close to $2,000, so the Catholic Charities has been talking to victims of the storm to determine how they can help.  "We're assessing that need to see what we can do, or any other social service organization in this area can, to help them get to the next month," said Farmer.  Martinez says she's thankful for the help she's getting.  "It's hard whenever you're pregnant and no air, no nothing..."

It has yet to be determined whether Governor Henry will declare the storm a disaster, if he does, it could bring much needed funding to help the storm scarred town.

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