Madison Heights, VA - Many elderly people without power have been stuck in their homes with no way to get to a cooling center. Some area churches and assisted living organizations have been trying to pick them up to get them into some AC. But, some would rather stay at home in the heat than go anywhere else.
Mitzi Thomas is in her late 80s. Since the storm Friday night, she's been staying at her home with no power. She says one day the temperature inside her house went all the way up to 99 degrees.
"I do get a little tired," said Thomas.
Several people offered to take her in, but she turned them all down.
"I said, 'No, I'll just stay here for right now,'" said Thomas.
Thomas says home is where she feels comfortable and wants to look after her property. Plus, she says, growing up, it was always like this.
"Back then, no one had air conditioning so there wasn't any choice. You just knew that's the way you had to live and you just did it," said Thomas.
She also has no running water because it pumps in from a spring so she can't get anything from the spigot and she can't flush her toilet. Thomas stays as cool as she can with a few fans, powered by a generator, and bottled water given by friends and family.
Brenda Dixon with Home Instead Senior Care came by to check on Thomas.
"There are a lot of things that can happen if someone has been hot especially for this length of time," said Dixon, Director of Client Care, Home Instead Senior Care.
That includes dehydration, heat strokes, even death. Dixon's main concern is for those who aren't checked on. Fortunately for Thomas, she has a lot of help.
"I certainly do appreciate it and thank them so much," said Thomas.
If you know an elderly person without power, please check on them. Home Instead is offering to transport the elderly to a cooling station, and if you need to give them a call, their Lynchburg number is 434-385-0321. The Roanoke number is 540-966-3399.