For elderly woman, problems persist once electricity comes back

Mary Casey worries how she'll afford food this month, after losing more than $300 worth of food due to a power outage. (Source: Emily Landeen/WCIV)

By Stacy

REEVESVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Through five days without electricity at her Reevesville home,{} Mary Casey, 70, only had a small fire in a wood stove to stay warm.

"You can't find the words for it," Casey said.

She still lives in constant fear that a tree will topple over and smash in to her home.

"How can you explain how bad it was? The ice was just hanging off everything. We would hear 'crack' and then the next three. It would be like a bowling ball going 'bing, bing, bing, bing,'" she said, of hearing trees fall on power lines outside her home in the wake of last week's ice storm.

"I said, 'God please, if you're going to knock the house down, don't let these two people staying with me get hurt. Let them go home first," she said.

Casey has Parkinson's Disease and cancer. She takes more than 20 pills a day, and even ran out of her supply of one of them.

"I couldn't get access to my cancer medicine because everything was closed in St. George," she said.

She also couldn't leave the house, she said.

Now, with the power back on Casey faced a new problem. She had to throw away more than $300 worth of food.

"That's just about shot: lamb chops, pork chops, chop meat, roast beef," she said. "The steamer bags of vegetables plus TV dinners; it cost me quite a bit of money," Casey said.

Her insurance agent said unfortunately, there's not much that can be done for Casey and many others.

"If the max damage is going to be a food spoilage where you lost $300 or $400 and you have a $1,000 deductible, that's going to be a scenario where it's not going to make a lot of sense to file a claim," agent Con Chellis said.

With the power back on, Casey still has her fire to stay warm and kind neighbors who call to check on her.

Living on food stamps, Casey said she doesn't have money left for food. She said she bought canned soup and TV dinners to help her make it through the end of February.

"I figured if I have soup at least ill keep warm. Otherwise, I'm out, finished," she said.

But Casey smiled through the fear, showing her wrinkles of worry.

"What else can you do?" she said, with a shrug.

She will be thinking about this for the rest of her life, she said.

Chellis said to contact your insurance agent immediately if you incurred any damages or costs from spoiled food.

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