Ivan's Toll Hits Family Hard

The good part is, "It has really brought us together as a neighborhood," says Boyd, Alabama resident Estelle Neal.

The bad part is, "I said we're going back to the Old Landmark. We're going to heat some water, wash up the dishes and do whatever we need to do with the hot water."

That's how Estell Neal says she and her family have been making it, by just getting by! Although she's now adapting by making coffee and cooking food over an open fire outside, Neal says being without power has created some major hardships.

"A financial hardship because you have to go to the washer and wash your clothes. We've been buying ice everyday and we go out and eat or else bring food in."

It has been not only a financial hardship, but also an emotional one. In fact, Neal says because of no power, her 84-year-old aunt who uses a breathing machine has been rushed to the emergency room twice in five days and no longer can stay at home.

"I'm staying with my next oldest son," says Magnolia McKeller, "and I don't want to be a burden on his wife because she works, but I can't do no better right now!"

Telephones have been down and the family was unable to call for help when McKeller's grandson died over the weekend from a bee sting. Neal says she wants something done.

"I feel like they're overlooking us. I've called the power company and I never got an answer. The Bible says get angry, but sin not. I got angry yesterday and I tried to do something about it."

However, to no avail electricity for Neal and many in the area for now at least remains off, leaving Neal and others as she says with no choice.

"We really don't have one. You've just got to do what you've got to do," says Neal.


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