One community taking power outage in stride

By Steve Ohnesorge, WBTV-TV, Charlotte, NC
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

WESTPORT, KY (WAVE) - It has been six days since the wind storm and tens of thousands are still in the dark. Nerves are on edge and frustration is setting in in many neighborhoods. Reporter Steve Ohnesorge found a place in Oldham County where people don't seem upset even though nearly everyone in the town of 300 has no power.

Westport, Kentucky is the kind of town Normal Rockwell would have loved, one where they use jars to raise money and raffle off quilts. In the local restaurant, there's even a spot for hometown heroes on the wall. It seems in Westport is everyone seems to be taking all the power outage in stride.

"No problem at all," said Dale Hudwell.

Dale has no power, but he's not screaming about it.

"Because people got it worse than us," said Dale.

Not that they don't want the power back, they certainly do. But people like Melvin Jones say that complaining won't help.

"If you make em mad you gonna be at the bottom of the list," said Melvin.

You have to understand that the town of Westport is so small and away from everything else, they can't even get pizza delivered. So it doesn't surprise anyone that the power crews haven't been here either.

Thursday night, a crew did come to town and power did come back to the water station. That put the lights on in the Teakettle restaurant too and a couple other places, but that's about it.

"Most people in town without power, including my house," said Kathy Hockersmith.

This is a big weekend for Westport - there is a Native American festival on the town square. Lots of vendors and activities are planned and they will need some electricity.

"We got some generators coming," said Dale.

A few will camp out on the square instead of at home. And why not? Inside Jim and Martha Landmesser's camper there is a stove and fridge that works - for now.

"We're living on batteries, but our batteries are about shot," says Jim.

Everyone in Westport would like to see lights back on. While they are not complaining, there is a spot on the hometown heroes wall waiting for some lucky power crew's picture.

"We'll put em up there if we get power," Kathy said.