Senior community finally gets power restored 18 days after Irma

The residents of Imperial Estates have their electricity back, and they feel sorry for people in Puerto Rico, who may be without power for months.

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Finally, a mobile home park in Hernando County becomes one of the last communities in Tampa Bay to get their power restored following Hurricane Irma.
 
The park and its 135 mobile homes lost power immediately following the storm and had been without electricity ever since.  Power was finally restored around midday Thursday.
 
For the first time in a long time, Jean Gween was able to visit the grocery store and bring home fresh food.
 
“We were without power for 2 1/2 weeks,” said Gween.  “It’s a long time to be without air.  What do you do in the evening when it gets dark? You can’t watch TV!”
 
It wasn’t wind but flooding water that took out the electricity, making restoring the power and sewage system extra tricky. And while some here were able to stay with friends or family, others had nowhere else to go.
 
“It was very stressful,” said John Donnelly, a 72-year-old diabetic living in the park.
 
When all the food in his refrigerator went bad he survived off snacks and junk food, landing him in the hospital.
 
“I went into very high blood sugar,” said Donnelly who was treated and released on Thursday.
 
Others including Joseph Wilson’s wife Connie faced heat exhaustion.
 
“You can’t panic and you have to keep her awake because what’s going to happen next,” said Wilson.
 
His wife also ended up in the hospital as temperatures inside their mobile home soared.
 
“During the day I’d say close to 120 degrees because there’s no air movement.”
 
As horrible as this situation has been, folks here can’t help but think about the people down in Puerto Rico where power could be out for six months to a year.
 
“To think down there and you lose everything. It was bad enough in the whole state of Florida, but down there… it's worse,” said Gween.
 
All the more reason residents here say they’re so grateful the power has returned.
 
“It’s a sigh of relief,” said Donnelly.  “The tension of walking the plank is over.”
 

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