JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — When strong winds and rain came through Jackson County on Monday night, Florida Public Utilities said an estimated 4,000 people in the area lost power.
Mason Brock, who works for FPU, said he and his co-workers are doing their best to help everyone.
“It was a normal hurricane for us, you know when outages just steadily happen. You know, and any time we get winds above 35 miles per hour we can’t let our guys work; so, everybody was called back in and we couldn’t get out until those winds died down,” said Brock.
Brock said once conditions were safe, workers stayed out until 10:30 Monday night, then started back at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
Certain customers get priority during power outages.
“We always look for hospitals and things like that first if they’re out; which, luckily, the hospital didn’t lose power. You know, areas like gas stations and things like that, but we typically go for the larger areas first, and then we kind of backtrack from that and make sure everybody’s back on,” said Brock.
For some people, power is essential. People in Jackson County, like Jerry Tramel, need the power to access their medical equipment.
“I’m 70 years old and I’ve got pretty bad health– sitting here for 24 hours without electricity and I actually have electric machines that need to be operating because I have cancer and I have a bad heart,” said Tramel.
Tramel says FPU told him to go to the ER, but the ER turned him away because of COVID.
He said he and many of his neighbors are veterans receiving hospice care.
“I feel very sorry for them, I wish I could go fix their power, but if I don’t have power myself, by tonight, I know my situation is going to turn very bad and I’m just kind of fighting for another day here, you know. If I got to go, I don’t want it to be today,” said Tramel.
FPU is asking anyone in poor medical condition to contact them so they can be prioritized.
Tramel said it’s a lengthy process that could take months, months he said he doesn’t have.