3 On Your Side: Lights out for storm victim?
CHATTANOOGA. (WRCB) -- A Chattanooga woman, whose home was damaged in the April 27th storms, is hoping she won't be left in the dark. EPB turned on her power, without a meter. Now, they've given her a disconnect date she's not sure she can meet.
She turned to "3 On Your Side" for help.
For Shirley Lee it's not just about the food in her refrigerator that will go bad if she loses power. She relies on oxygen and breathing treatments to survive. None of that is possible without electricity.
She says she's done everything EPB asked, but they're still threatening to pull the power plug.
"They're putting my mom's life in danger by cutting the power off, they don't seem to understand that," said Shirley's son Philip Mercipres.
The April 27th storms took down Shirley Lee's porch. EPB took her meter claiming it was unsafe. In the meantime she was given temporary power at a flat rate. She had it all reattached, the way it was before. But she said EPB still planned on shutting her electricity off by Friday night.
Shirley said, "it's awful because I've begged them to just come out and inspect it and put in the meter, there's no harm in that, we can't get them to cooperate."
EPB told her she needs to have the city first inspect it for $25, but she said the city was back logged until well past her disconnect date, and she can't afford the $400 that a private electrician would charge.
That's when she contacted Eyewitness News to help her find a little breathing room. Literally, without oxygen she goes to the hospital
EPB said they can't comment on a specific customer's situation.
EPB Spokesperson Danna Bailey said, "I do know that we do our best to work with customers and be as flexible as we can. In a situation where a customer is in a tight spot I encourage them to keep open communication and we'll do our best with them to work with them."
Again Shirley and her son Philip said they had been trying to keep communications open but prior to this evening they were getting no where.
Shirley said, "I'm just in a bind, I don't know what else to do we've called inspectors, we've called the city. We've called everybody, I don't know what other steps to take."
No more than 30 minutes after Channel 3 talked with EPB they seemed to have changed their story. Shirley and her son contacted us saying EPB told them, their power will not be shut off, and EPB crews will be out there Monday to put a new meter in with the city.