‘It was a long period without power’: Sevierville couple endures 4 days without power after weekend snow storm


Couple had to empty deep freezer of perishable food and pack into snow to save it

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Sevierville couple is celebrating having lights and hot water after they endured four days and nights of no power.

Vanessa Johnston says she and her husband had just finished dinner when their power went out on Christmas Eve. They were stuck with no lights or hot water for four full days. She says they opened Christmas presents together in the dark.

“It was a long time. I was about at my wits’ end yesterday mentally because I just wanted it back on so bad. When I looked out the back window yesterday evening and I saw the power company working, I about cried. We were outside in our driveway and it came back on and we were cheering and thanking them,” Johnston said.

They did have a grill that allowed them to cook food and boil water, and her husband was able to use a car battery and an inverter to keep their phones and computers charged.

“We have a deep freezer. We took everything out of that that was perishable and actually packed it into the snow on our porch to keep it from going bad,” Johnston said.

The couple also had a kerosene heater that helped some, but they couldn’t leave it on during the night.

“It got pretty cold. It was cold temperatures for sure. We saw the outage map on the Sevier County electric system and it was the largest outage we had ever seen and my husband said, you know, this is probably going to be a lot longer than we think,” Johnston said.

On Monday, their nightmare is finally ended. Their power was restored.

“We were outside in our driveway and it came back on and we were cheering and thanking them. We turned on every single light that we have in the house and the television. We just turned it all on. We didn’t want to see the dark anymore,” Johnston said.

The Johnstons are hoping they won’t have to repeat this experience, but if they do, they’ll be ready.

“We’ll always keep a stock pile of food on hand and what not, and kerosene fuel if we need it,” Johnston said.

At the time this story was written, there were still 226 residents in Sevier County without power.

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