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Reader's View: Handicapped need extra consideration in blackouts

I write this as I sit at St Mary's hospital, bedside with my father after his cancer surgery. My parents live in Duluth and were affected greatly by the storm on July 21. My father was scheduled for surgery that Friday morning at 6 a.m. Being the...

I write this as I sit at St Mary’s hospital, bedside with my father after his cancer surgery. My parents live in Duluth and were affected greatly by the storm on July 21. My father was scheduled for surgery that Friday morning at 6 a.m. Being their only child, I raced up from Maple Grove, Minn., to assist with my mother, who is handicapped. Arriving at their home on Glenwood Street, I saw that the home was OK but that there were some trees that had fallen, and, of course, their power was out. They also rely on power for water as they have a pump.
Friday’s surgery came, and during the late afternoon I called the neighbor who lives behind my parents. The neighbor had power. Great. I rushed back to the house to turn on the air conditioning and to check things out. No power. I called the power company, but it was of little help. I explained the situation, and the person to whom I was speaking really didn’t have an answer.
I walked the property and noticed a tree leaning against a power line. I called back and told the power company about this. “We will send a crew out,” I was told. Three days later, no crew, no power and no water. I was told the power might not be restored until the following Thursday night.
I ask: What is a handicapped person who needs electricity to breath at night to do? There are no hotels available nearby and her husband who is her primary caregiver is in the hospital.
Brad Johnson
Maple Grove, Minn.

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