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Power is back on, but the struggle continues for one Roanoke woman

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jun 25 2013 05:32:45 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2013 12:07:34 PM EDT

Brandy Wright had just gone to the grocery store.
But, now her freezer is bare after recent storms left her without power for three days.

ROANOKE, Va. -

"I had steak. I had a whole chicken. I had a bag of chicken. I had a pack of bacon," explains Brandy Wright.

Wright had just gone to the grocery store.
But, now her freezer is bare after recent storms left her without power for 3-days.

Explains Wright, "I realized the air condition was off - I said, 'Oh, it'll come back on' (laughs) I'm just waiting and waiting -sweating getting nervous."

Getting nervous because inside her refrigerator sat her food for the month.

"In a couple hours my food was already melting in my refrigerator and I was like, 'Wow, are you serious? I just bought this food.'"

Wright is on disability and gets food stamps or Electronic Benefits.
Once a month she gets 174-dollars.
When she lost power and the food went bad, she contacted Social Services for an reimbursement, but that was last week.

"Why's it taking so long? What's the problem? I don't understand," says Wright.

WDBJ7 contacted the department Tuesday.
Steve Martin, head of the benefits program, says social services is working on getting people their reimbursements, but it's an involved process. 
On top of its other work, the department is dealing with an estimated 300-400 requests, each client has to fill out paperwork and the the power company must verify each outage.

Wright, in the meantime, says she may have to turn to her family for help, but she'd rather not.
She just wants this resolved.

"I would hate to have to lean on them, but I am just one person but a little bit can go a long way," says Wright.

Social Services also tells us there was a technical issue that kept it from getting verification on a lot of these requests, but the problem has been fixed.

The department is hoping to reimburse its clients within 10-days of getting the initial request.