Investment in generator helps couple without electricity

Investment in generator helps couple without electricity

GREENWICH TWP., Pa. - It has been almost a week since Hurricane Irene ripped through the region.

Thousands of people throughout Berks County and the surrounding counties are still without power.

Met-Ed officials said their crews remain out in numbers.

"No Met-Ed employees have left the state of Pennsylvania to do any restoration work anywhere else," said spokesperson Scott Surgeoner.

Pat Stewart and her husband said they had a backup plan in case they ever lost power at their home in Greenwich Township. They bought an eight-kilowatt generator in 2009.

Stewart said it's been a tremendous help during blackouts.

"We got it because we needed to save our own meat and things like that," said Stewart.

When Irene hit, Stewart said she checked on her neighbors to see if they needed any of their food stored in their main freezer.

"We started working around, moving things to the other freezer just to free up space so we can get the other people's food in the freezer and try to hold it," said Stewart.

Stewart said her home lost power around 3 a.m. Sunday, prompting the generator, which runs on propane, to kick in.

During the three and a half days they were without power, their generator consumed 60 gallons of propane.

Stewart said the generator was a smart investment because it allowed her family to be self-sustaining. Although some generators can be pricy, Stewart said people can find smaller generator units that would be just as reliable. 

"I love it out here. It's beautiful, but that's one of the drawbacks," said Stewart. "You can lose the power."

Although Stewart's neighborhood has its power restored, she said being a good Samaritan makes the community stronger.

"I think that's what people should do," said Stewart. "They need to reach out in their community and help others."

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