CSRA was unprepared

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For the past several days, the CSRA was known as the Ice Area. The inclement weather caused loss of power; fallen trees scattered all over the metro area; and power lines and cable lines hanging from frozen trees and drooping with ice.

This wasn’t anyone’s fault. This was an act of God. However, I think the CSRA still was unprepared. I don’t think the media released any helpful information such as which stores were closed. However, the managers of the stores could have gotten water out to the elderly, or hotel owners could have placed those elderly who need oxygen in hotels free of charge – not charge them because they are on fixed incomes.

I believe hotel prices, store prices and gas prices were jacked up. It’s still all about the dollar bill. We must be more helpful and caring instead of seeing who can make the most money.

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carcraft
24260
Points
carcraft 02/18/14 - 06:34 am
17
0
I have a differant view.

I have a differant view. There are/were not enough hotel motel rooms for the folks from out of town fixing power lines and clearing /cleaning up the mess caused by fallen trees and power lines etc. So lets lose even more accomdations for workers. One crew in my neighborhood is renting a house that is for sale! Children should be looking after their elderly parents and people should help look after elderly neighbors. I wasn't as diligent as I should have been in that reguard!

avidreader
2992
Points
avidreader 02/18/14 - 07:09 am
19
0
I Also Have A Different View!

The staff at BiLo in Daniel Village never closed and ran the operation with a skeleton crew. BUT, they were open and the management did their best to accommodate customers who were in dire need of food and supplies. And beer. I will remain a loyal customer based simply on their sense of community, not their race for the dollar.

I was fairly mobile over the last week and I did not witness even one incident of price gouging.

I now know my neighbors better than ever before. We all pitched in and helped each other. The guys from Alabama Power were terrific and worked nonstop to remedy our misery.

Overall, I'd say that the city's management did a wonderful job in caring for its citizens.

Pond Life
16991
Points
Pond Life 02/18/14 - 08:06 am
10
3
I've always wondered about

I've always wondered about the term "fixed income." How many people have the ability to just change their income any time they want?

deestafford
23815
Points
deestafford 02/18/14 - 08:28 am
9
0
I agree with the comments above.

I agree with the comments above. Family needs to look after family. Neighbors need to look after neighbors. The stores are there to provide a service to their customers who come in first and are not running a charitable organization. They don't have the staff or time to do otherwise in an emergency.

The only criticism I've heard that maybe valid is that the area was not prepared to handle members of the power crews who came to help. There was no food nor places to stay lined up. Now, I don't know how true that is but one of the crew told us that. If it is true, that's something that needs correcting. Other than that I've heard nothing but positives.

seenitB4
81570
Points
seenitB4 02/18/14 - 08:34 am
10
1
Positives for Augusta

I can't think of any negatives....

How do you think these folks got to work---skeleton crews & they did a fantastic job...thanks.

It brought out the best of mankind imho....the only thing to change is trimming some of the beautiful trees all around the CSRA....it has to be done now....maybe more underground utilities too.

john
886
Points
john 02/18/14 - 10:03 am
7
0
out of town crews

Ive been on a couple disaster recoveries in LA and FL. Living primitive while out there helping is part of the deal. I was impressed that there were so many here ahead of the storm. Showed good planning on someones part. Sometimes the supplies show up late to support the people. They should have been prepared for that. It shouldnt have been a surprise. I drove by Regency Mall and it looked pretty well supported. Thanks to all the out of town responders as well as our local responders to helped during the mess. People have to be a little more responsible and thoughtful on how to take care of themselves during power outages. Hopefully folks will think about what they could do better next time and get prepared.

jimmymac
33139
Points
jimmymac 02/18/14 - 10:12 am
0
0
STORM
Unpublished

The storm brought the best out of many people. I saw people providing housing and food to non family members. The linemen working in the cold and ice are to be commended for their hard and grueling work. I though Aiken co-op and SC&G provided wonderful response to a terribly destructive event. I morn the loss of so many trees and the damage to Aiken's beautiful downtown and South Boundary.

P.S. Atlantic Broadband doesn't get high marks for their response in my book.

Little Lamb
43881
Points
Little Lamb 02/18/14 - 10:44 am
9
0
Letter Writer Wrong

There was plenty of neighborliness and helpfulness going on all across the CSRA. And I found that the power companies, tree service companies, city governments, county governments, law enforcement, etc. were well organized and helped out the citizens where they could.

This letter writer must definitely be a glass half empty kind of person.

Red Headed Step Child
4006
Points
Red Headed Step Child 02/18/14 - 01:26 pm
6
0
Farmer's Almanac

According to the FA2014, we are due for another winter storm within the next couple of weeks... curiously, it predicted the last two winter storms we had. In looking back over other storm predictions, it's pretty freaky how close and correct the almanac is.

I'll be re-stocking my "emergency" supplies just in case!

Marinerman1
4304
Points
Marinerman1 02/18/14 - 01:28 pm
6
0
Gotta Disagree With The Writer

How do you prepare for a fluke -- one that happens every now and then? I've been sending emails to the different power companies that came to help us out. They probably don't get a lot of thank-you mail. We do need to figure out a way to house the crews better. On any given day, about 50 of them were staying @ Patriot's Park @ the Columbia County shelter. Not sure where they stayed in Richmond County. From what I've been told, Georgia Power had their act together. It looks like the EMCs, not so much. Probably will be some discussion during the next Touchstone Energy membership meeting. Martinez had power before Evans. The Martinez McDonald's was awesome !! I think we actually did pretty well. Now, who's going to buy themselves a generator ??

myfather15
49903
Points
myfather15 02/18/14 - 03:06 pm
5
0
I must say that during this

I must say that during this storm, I personally witnessed some amazing acts of kindness, compassion and helping others!!

But I also personally witnessed acts of GREED!! We personally asked a local tree service company for help clearing the road and they said they couldn't do anything now. They were riding around inspecting trees and damage, and when we asked them for help, he stated "We can't do anything right now, but come the weekend, we are going to make a lot of money."

I also know of several local hotels that DOUBLED their price!! Yes, they've already been reported!! One of the local hotel managers has already reported them.

I also witnessed several tow truck companies driving around looking for people who slid into ditches, then charging them $150-$200 just to pull them out of the ditch!! Just to hook a cable up to their vehicles and pull them out of the ditch!! AMAZING!! Making 100+ dollars for less than 10 minutes of effort!! Now THAT, is kindness!!

YeCats
10050
Points
YeCats 02/18/14 - 03:52 pm
7
2
No one

can be gouged, without their permission. Businesses are known, survive, thrive, and die by their actions, and transactions.

The Boy Scouts have a simple motto. If everyone lived by it, they wouldn't need anyone to "bail" them out. Still, it's great to hear the stories about people helping people, opening their homes, checking on each other.

"Be Prepared" starts with self.

Dudeness
1543
Points
Dudeness 02/18/14 - 03:58 pm
6
0
I think our area did pretty

I think our area did pretty well for the most part. I would like to see twice weekly trash-pickup for a couple of weeks to get rid of the mounds of spoiled food faster. I think the resources that were here to help GA Power was enough for our needs. I just wonder how well they were coordinated early on by local leadership (especially Jefferson and Planters Electric). One radio station (perhaps WBBQ?) kept providing a regular stream of updates on which stores/restaurants/shelters were open. Wanting store managers to give away goods and services for free has nothing to do with the preparedness of our area for the storm. That seems to be more of a personal gripe.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 02/18/14 - 05:03 pm
8
0
Doretha Hollins-Williams

Sorry, but there was no way of preparing for something that rarely if ever occurs. In hind sight I know now what additional items I need to perhaps keep available to me when the need arises, but there were a lot of businesses that lost a lot of money due the the damage.

One such business was my local grocery store that was forced to throw away all of their displayed meats. And I am sure that occurred in almost every super market. Now that is a great loss...

As far as giving things away, charity only goes so far until it destroys the host. Emergency room doctors work to restore life to people in distress, yet they still expect to be paid. With that said, giving what you can is great and many people went out of their way and helped when they could. but, expecting more than what can be given is self-serving.

Become self sufficient and then give whatever you feel you can when the time comes.

corgimom
28028
Points
corgimom 02/18/14 - 05:53 pm
8
2
A hotel isn't obligated to

A hotel isn't obligated to provide free rooms for anybody. They are a business and their bills and payroll don't stop, nobody gives them anything for free. They didn't cause the ice storm. That's like saying the BI-LO should give out free food.

I don't think that prices were jacked up, if Ms. Hollins-Williams thinks so, she should call the mayor's office. But you can't accuse people of price gouging just because "you believe" that they did, you have to have proof.

corgimom
28028
Points
corgimom 02/18/14 - 05:55 pm
5
2
Every hotel, by law, has a

Every hotel, by law, has a card on the back of every room door stating the maximum that they can charge for the room. It is perfectly legal for them to charge anything up to the maximum rate.

KSL
121842
Points
KSL 02/18/14 - 06:11 pm
5
2
localguy

We were without electricity for less than 24 hours. We were fortunate. But I guarantee we lacked for nothing. We have always stayed prepared for a 3 or 4 day lack of power. I grew up in West Georgia out in the country and on a well. And while 2 days is the longest we have experienced in Aiken, and that only once in over 40 years, this one did not affect us at all. The house lost a few degrees in heat. We had a propane grill and turkey fryer to cook with, a gas water heater, city water.

KSL
121842
Points
KSL 02/18/14 - 06:18 pm
4
2
I remember almost yearly

I remember almost yearly events in west GA that lasted for days.The most inconvenience I suffered was being a child or teenager unable to go to town and be with friends while we were out of school.

KSL
121842
Points
KSL 02/18/14 - 06:34 pm
3
2
Looked for our house in the

Looked for our house in the 1970's, late part. Selected house based on my experiences growing up.

itsanotherday1
40289
Points
itsanotherday1 02/18/14 - 07:12 pm
4
0
"Who is going to buy a generator?"

I'm still kicking it around, but so far I just can't justify it. We didn't lose any food, I just put refrigerated perishables on the deck in coolers and used nature's ice. The freezers stayed closed, so the food there was OK.

We heat with gas and have ventless gas logs in the fireplace which will run you out of the room if kept on. I have a NG gas grill with a side burner which I used to cook on and heat water for coffee. Gas hot water..

My biggest aggravation was that my cellphone signal was weak so couldn't make it a hotspot to use my computer. I guess if I had auxiliary power I could have watched TV. Speaking of phones, e-readers, i-Pads, and computers, we kept those charged with the car.

So... Do I really need to tie up $1000+ in a quiet portable generator and autoswitch just so I can have TV with the rare power outages we have? I don't have much use for one otherwise.

The only thing we will be better prepared on is lighting. We could have used a bit more and have already ordered some more LED lanterns. That and a camp-style propane stove for more convenient stovetop cooking.

augusta citizen
8646
Points
augusta citizen 02/18/14 - 08:12 pm
3
0
Farmer's Almanac always right!

Red Headed Step Child, yes, the FA is almost always right and their prediction for the period of 2/21 - 2/26 is identical to their prediction last week, I've also seen a few other predictions for another ice storm next week. Hope not, but planning to be ready if they are right!

KSL
121842
Points
KSL 02/18/14 - 08:53 pm
2
2
My ventless gas logs need

My ventless gas logs need cleaning. Tried to light the pilot light last winter and it would not come on. But we did not have but one night much below freezing. Did not even bother the other day.

And thankfully, we did not need them.

KSL
121842
Points
KSL 02/18/14 - 09:10 pm
1
2
Had my wifi hot spot and my

Had my wifi hot spot and my tablet, which could be charged in the cars. Still have 2 land line phone lines.

Still thinking of a generator. My son and daughter-in- law, who live in Charlotte have one. She is from the east coast of South Florida. It was a gift from her father.

billcass
682
Points
billcass 02/18/14 - 09:15 pm
4
0
I knew someone

would complain. No matter how well the area and people performed, someone would not be happy.

KSL
121842
Points
KSL 02/18/14 - 09:47 pm
2
2
Wait. Who cannot afford to

Wait. Who cannot afford to draw water that they may need for a week without water? Why should stores go distribute water? If hotels are open and paying for backup energy, why should they not recoup something because they paid extra to have the ability to be open?

D-HW, were you an emergency worker of some type? We in Aiken County were ordered to stay off the roads, so I did not have to use gas. Therefore, I did not need to to buy any gas.

I would love to know a little more about the discomfort you suffered.

By the way, please be advised that hurricanes, like Hugo, can cause similar problems, except you cannot keep your food cold.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 02/18/14 - 09:59 pm
4
0
KSL

We were out of power for a day and a half and I was just fine. I cooked on a gas burner and in the fire place. I had a battery powered radio and plenty of candies so life was good. I sat back and had a brandy and a Rocky Petal by the fireplace.

My kid was a different story. Her Iphone died and she did not have a car charger, so life as she knows it was a bust. She asked what did people do before electricity and I said the educated ones read books, lots of books.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7057
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 02/18/14 - 10:55 pm
3
0
Lighting

Did any of you think of using the little solar lights like the inexpensive ones you see at Walmart... Those would have saved a few housefires..
Place them in your windows during the day to charge and place them around the house at night where you'll need the light... A little preparedness goes a long way!!

DowntownJaguar
111
Points
DowntownJaguar 02/19/14 - 12:29 am
1
2
This may be the worst....

This may be the WORST letter to the editor ever.

corgimom
28028
Points
corgimom 02/19/14 - 01:02 pm
2
0
When Hurricane Hugo came

When Hurricane Hugo came through Charlotte, my mother-in-law didn't have power for over 3 weeks.

That's why catastrophic storms are called, catastrophic.

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