VINCENT - While portions of Marietta, Belpre, Beverly, Newport and other communities had electricity restored as of Tuesday morning, folks in Fleming, Vincent and Barlow were still waiting.
"Five days is ridiculous," said Marie Smith, 47, of Vincent. "No relief. ... We have no fans, nothing."
Smith and more than 20,000 Washington County residents lost electricity after a storm packing powerful winds ripped through the valley Friday night. It's been coming back on around the area each day as AEP Ohio and Washington Electric Cooperative crews work to repair the damage to transmission and distribution lines.
Estimates on AEP Ohio's website Wednesday morning placed restoration for the Vincent area at midnight Friday. However, that was also the estimate at the start of the week for Belpre, which saw some power return Monday night.
Residents still without power are doing what they can to beat the heat, remain hydrated and pass the time until electricity is restored.
"Lots of cold baths and trying to stay out of the sun and drinking lots of cold water," Smith said.
Food during power outages
Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than four hours.
Keep the door closed as much as possible.
Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 40 degrees for more than two hours.
Exceptions include hard, processed and grated cheeses; butter; fruit juices; and fresh fruits, dried fruits and canned fruits that have been opened; raw vegetables; many condiments; bread; and open vinegar-based dressings.
Never taste food to determine its safety. You can't rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.
Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
Additional information is available at www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
Her water supply got a boost Tuesday afternoon as employees of the Washington County Sheriff's Office delivered a case of bottled water. Clerk Jacinda Carr and administrative assistant Marian Forshey said they're usually desk-bound but were dispatched to deliver water to people in need.
"We're focusing on the places that still don't have power," Carr said.
Some residents are stretching their resources by sharing generators. Cathy Ryan, 58, of Fleming, said her family's been moving one between their house and her husband's cousin's to keep refrigerators and freezers running. It didn't save everything though.
"Friday night, I'd just gone to the grocery store. Bought three gallons of ice cream. Of course, that's gone," Ryan said.
Smith estimated she lost $1,000 worth of food because her refrigerator and freezer were without power.
And Linda Allen, president of the Western Washington County Food Pantry, said they had to throw out roughly 2,000 pounds of food.
"We had freezers ... but it's been off too long," she said.
Even harder than not having electricity for going on five days was the temporary loss of water, Ryan said. However, the family conserved some and kept it in containers for various household uses and to give to animals on their farm.
Layman resident Misty Williams, 30, and her husband have been staying next door with her parents, who have a generator. Williams said they loaned their own generator to friends in Waterford who have a child.
"That way, our friends can stay cool too," she said. "It's what you've got to do in these times."
On Tuesday, Williams was returning videos to White Oak Pharmacy in Vincent. The store, like the rest of Vincent, didn't have electricity, but a generator was running so the pharmacy could fill prescriptions.
"I called it in (Friday), and I was lazy and didn't come pick it up after work, and then the storm hit," said Veto resident Lori Kissner, 39.
Prescriptions have been the biggest demand at White Oak, which has been open on a limited basis since Sunday. Sales staff member Carol Pyatt said the store was open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Although there is no electricity in most of the store, employees escort a few customers at a time through the aisles.
Outside White Oak, business was pretty steady at the Witten Produce Patch & Greenhouse stand.
"I'm surprised. I thought people would be staying in because of the storm, but we've stayed busy," said Tyler Schwendeman, a worker at the stand.
He added that corn is the most sold product, and the storm hasn't negatively influenced the sales, even though some people are unable to cook because of the power outages.
While the extreme heat and lack of power have been a potential health threat for some - Smith said her mother-in-law had to be taken to a nursing home because power was out so long in Belpre - others say they're doing pretty well, even if they miss the comforts of life on the grid.
"I've been reading pretty much because I have nothing to do, no human contact," said Michelle Meek, 19, of Barlow Township. "I'm used to power being out for a few hours, maybe a day, but this is a long time."
The 50-A Carry-Out & Grocery on Ohio 550 in Warren Township didn't get power back until Sunday, but they stayed open Saturday anyway, even dispensing gasoline into cans.
"We did it the old way, calculator and pencil," cashier Tiffany Hendrickson said.
The store lost refrigerated items like milk, meat, cheese and ice cream, and still hasn't recovered one of the most in-demand products - ice.
"Our company that we get it from (doesn't) have electricity to make ice," she said.
Madison Thieman contributed.