Neighbors with power are helping other neighbors deal survive without it - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Neighbors with power are helping other neighbors deal survive without it

People with power are helping their neighbors without power. But the way some are doing it is a hazard to everyone.

Trees are still down in the middle of the street. And people along the side of Wentworth Avenue with no electricity just wanted to get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle. So they're getting a little power from their neighbors with extension cords.

In the alley between two rows of houses is a sight you don't see everyday.

"I would call it a camping adventure," said Peggy Schmidt, who has no power.

Extension cords running from one house to another; neighbors literally connecting to neighbors.

"I have just one thing hooked up, and that's my freezer," said Schmidt.

Sunday's windstorm knocked out power to this entire side of the street. But across the alley, this side has had power pretty much the entire week. Now, thanks to this extension cord, they both have power. But only enough to run a freezer or refrigerator.

"It's really hard to even take a bath in the shower in the dark. Everything's in the dark," said Ralph Grove, who has no power.

An extension cord can be a safe way to share power, but not in this alley.

"You've got small-gauge extension cords running large appliances and extended for long stretches, which makes the situation even worse," said Mark Yates, electrician.

Yates says the strain on the cord and the appliance creates a fire hazard.

"You need a heavier-gauge cord, a minimum 12-gauge cord to go across for at least 100 feet," said Yates.

Cars driving over the cords can crush the wires, create a "short," and electrocute anyone who touches it. So Yates put boards on both sides of a cord to protect it. As neighbors saw what he was doing, they came out and did the same.

"The cord is warm to touch, which means I know it's being stressed," said Yates.

A window is pinching this cord. That's not good. And this two-pronged orange cord is plugged into a three-pronged yellow cord, and it's not grounded. Also not good.

A million things for people without power to fix.

"What are you going to do? You got to help your neighbors," said Mark Ellen, who has power.

Of course, it's important to be safe while being neighborly.

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