Hard-hit Suffolk neighbors thankful to have lights back on after Isaias’ wrath

Posted at 9:14 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 07:35:21-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - Hundreds of people are still in the dark more than a day after Isaias’ wrath. By late Wednesday night, Dominion Energy had restored power to about 95% of its customers in Virginia and North Carolina.

The City of Suffolk was one of the hardest-hit areas. Neighbors in the Old Town neighborhood had their power turned back on around 3 p.m. Wednesday, but many people had to throw away food and spend money to stay in hotels.

Inside Cartlton Claboine’s trash bin outside his Central Avenue home sit several garbage bags full of food he said he had to throw out.

“Everything in refrigerator was just trash,” said Claboine.

Claboine said he lost about $500 worth of food after Isaias barreled through the area early Tuesday morning knocking out power to thousands of people.

“It went off, came back on, went off,” Claboine said. “Then, it went off for good.”

Neighbors said their power was out for about 36 hours until it restored around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Claboine said his wife and five kids had to stay in a hotel after temperatures inside their home reached 85 degrees.

“We tried to wait it out,” he said. “When we noticed the power didn’t come back on, it started getting hot in the house.”

Two hotel rooms for two nights costed him another couple hundred dollars.

“I’m upset, but what can I do? There’s nothing I can do about it,” said Claboine.

A few doors down on Hill Street, Winslow Floyd said he was woken up after the storm’s strong winds toppled part of his tree onto his car.

“It kind of sounded like a bomb went off,” Floyd said. “It was pretty scary.”

He also lost power for more than a day and had to throw away some food, but said it could have been much worse.

Related: Photo gallery: Isaias' impact across Hampton Roads, NE North Carolina

“We was lucky,” said Floyd. “I think the whole street was lucky.”

According to Dominion Energy Spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris, more than 7,000 crews have been working around the clock to restore power.

As of Wednesday evening, about 95% of the 508,000 customers who incurred outages were back online in about 32 hours. Billingsley Harris said a majority of impacted customers should have power restored by end of day Thursday, with more severely damaged areas restored by Friday night.

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