On Wednesday, many Georgians were back at school, work and their everyday routine. But for thousands of others, it was the third day without electricity thanks to Tropical Storm Irma.
Families are making do with what they have until the lights come back on. The Hester family has lived on Pierce Drive West in Macon since 1996. With lots of old, large trees in the neighborhood, the power goes out often during storms but never this long before, Amy Hester said.
The Hesters’ property got only minor yard debris from the storm, but a tree fell on a house across the street and blocked their road and driveway. Her husband, Darren, went back to work at Geico on Wednesday, but she and sons Owen, 18, and Ethan, 15, stayed home. It was the third day that Bibb County schools and Vineville Baptist Church’s preschool, where Amy works, were closed.
“We’ve played every single board game we own. They’re getting kind of bored,” Hester said of her sons.
The family has been passing the time by walking their two dogs and checking on neighbors. On Wednesday, they started picking up around the yard and cleaning spoiled food out of the fridge and deep freezer. They used up all their eggs and cheese and fed the leftovers to the dogs.
Hester said they picked up coffee and quick-fix foods at the store Tuesday, finding the Kroger stores on Forsyth Road and Pio Nono closed before going to Walmart on Zebulon Road. They’ve been making Ramen noodles, oatmeal and macaroni and cheese on their gas stove and eating plenty of peanut butter sandwiches.
“The worst now is just waiting and not knowing. It’s hard to plan,” she said. “It may get warm today, and that’s going to be hard. I really hope to see some power Friday. I think I can make it till then.”
Owen and Ethan said they miss playing video games on their computer and PlayStation 4 and communicating with friends. Amy Hester said she might have to make a trip to the laundromat.
A few streets over, an uprooted tree lay across Paris Dent’s front yard, pinning the power lines onto the road but managing to fall directly around her mother’s white Cadillac without damaging it. She lives on Gwinnett Drive with her parents, three children and a nephew.
The family has been keeping the kids entertained with games and car rides. While the children were enjoying the break, Dent hoped the power would be back soon. The nights are the hardest, with candles and flashlight batteries burning out.
“Just get everybody’s power back. They knew this was going to happen,” she said. “We can’t go a week without power. Three days is long enough,” she said.
They’re keeping their meats in a cooler with ice, but some of their other food has spoiled. For now, their meals are all nonperishable items. But they can’t complain too much, Dent said, since people in Texas and Florida are dealing with much worse.