Family huddles around fireplace waiting for power to return



Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade


Posted on December 8, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Oncor crews are working around the clock to restore electrical service that was knocked out by the ice storm.

They are getting some help repairing downed power lines from 3,700 employees, contractors and utility workers from as far away as Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

But thousands of North Texas families were struggling through yet another night in the dark Saturday.

Shaundra Adande is no pioneer woman, but she was living like one.

"I saw the lights flickering, and I was like...'Uh-oh,'" she said.

The ice storm took her family back in time around 1 a.m. Friday.

"All of a sudden, 'Boom!' And since then we’ve just been in the dark," Adande said.

Now everyone — including a one-month-old baby — are camping out, huddled around the fireplace in their living room.

They have no water, no heat, and — until our camera crew showed up — no light.

"My kids are suffering here, and the hardest part for me is, no one has any type of help," Adande said.

She called shelters and found they were either full or too far away to take an infant in the freezing cold. So bottled water goes in a pan and gets heated in the fireplace.

Grandma Patricia Gyimah flew in from Denver; at least she's accustomed to simpler times.

"I was born in a time when we didn’t have all this — the Xboxes and all that — so they are feeling it a little bit harder than our generation did," she said.

While this family was having a hard time being cooped up, even son Jalen understands that there's a bright side to adversity, and that having heat is not the only way to create a feeling of warmth.

"It’s better to laugh than to cry in this situation, because laughing can solve problems — it brings happiness — but crying? It doesn’t bring happiness. It doesn’t solve problems," he said.

Despite their situation, the family is grateful the children's grandmother was able to fly in before the storm hit, and at least they are stranded together.