Knowing that he had a lot of people depending on him, John drove the 2 1/2 hours home from his job site just before the ice storm hit in Metropolis, IL. He not only had his wife and 3 children at home to take care of, but also his grandparents, his disabled parents, his sister, brother, oldest son's other grandparents and his in-laws homes as well.
DAY 1- The power went out in the entire area. Since John did not have a generator, he and his family stayed the first night at his parents' home as well as did his sister. His parents had a generator, as well as a gas fireplace and gas cooktop stove. He checked on his grandparents, who decided to stay at their home with only a small gas heater and their stove. At mom and dad's home extension cords were run to the fridge, freezer, a few lights and the TV, which stayed on Channel 6 for all the updates of what was going on in the area. John and his brother Daniel with the assistance of dad took parts off of some old generators and managed to get one working to take to Daniel's house. Daniel opened his warm home to several friends and to a family with a small baby. Then John went to his home and took food to his parents' home, as well as extension cords and anything that might be useful during the outage. He supplied pipe insulation at his parents' home in order to get the water from the well running back to the house.
DAY 2-News Channel 6 was right on target when they announced that an ice storm was headed our way. The entire news team crews were doing such a great job in keeping us informed of the weather and area news. John checked on his in-laws. They had a generator, so his wife and the 2 youngest children decided to stay at her parents home out in the county. John went back to check on his grandparents. Their home was cold, like everyone else around who did not have a generator or other heat source. His grandparents agreed to stay the nights at mom and dad's home but wanted to stay in their own home during the daytime. Then he started gathering any old small space heaters, working on some of them to get them running and putting them in these homes that had no gas or electric sources.
DAY 3- He and his wife, Chasida, decided to go back to his job site to get his paycheck. John's brother-in-law Kevin was working in Texas and was unable to come home. But Kevin knew that Monica would be taken care of. Since John was going to be 2 1/2 hours away, his sister and brother asked that if he could find any new generators, would he buy them. The plan was for John to get the old generator for his house from his brother when Daniel bought the new one They made some phone calls and since it was difficult to find any generators around here that day, they found some at the Sam's Club in Marion. So his siblings gave him the money to buy them each a generator. As they continued on toward the job site, his oldest son's other grandparents called him and asked if he would buy them one and that they would pay him when he got back home. So John and Chasida found the 3rd generator and it was loaded in the back of the pickup truck. On the way back home, they stopped at an open gas station and got 60 extra gallons of gas to fill the new generators with and stopped at an open grocery store and bought groceries for Chasida's uncle in Hamletsburg. It was getting pretty late by the time they got the food delivered and got back to dad's garage. The men got together and started prepping the generators, filled them with gas and got them delivered, set up and checked out. They got all the extension cords run and made sure that the heat was on and working properly before leaving. By the time this was done it was after midnight. When John got the old generator to his house, he started it up, it ran for a little while, and then IT QUIT WORKING. Oh well--tomorrow's another day!
DAY 4--The day was spent clearing tree limbs away from the electric meter bases. He replaced weather masts and service heads on electrical meters where the trees had fallen and broken the weather heads out of the meter boxes. He also fixed and replaced some on Saturday and Sunday. Then he drove to Vienna and bought 30 gallons more of gas to top off the generators at everyone's houses. Trees were also chain sawed out of the way, firewood was brought in to those who he knew could use it, driveways and sidewalks were also shoveled. He went back to his home to check on it, and found a small water leak under the house. He had to go back to Paducah to find parts to repair the leak. While looking for parts, people started coming up to him asking him questions like "what size generator do I need" and other electrical questions. John realized that he had his electrician's hat on and that was why strangers were asking him these questions. He took the time to answer the questions to the best of his knowledge and tried to help others find the correct parts that they needed for their repairs. He went home and got the water leak fixed. When he came into the house, the lights came on. His power was restored. Since his parents live one road over from him, he called to see if they had electricity. They told him no that they did not have any power. John is known for being a "big jokester". His dad thought that John was joking this time and drove over to see if he did indeed have power. Sure enough--John had lights on in the house, and the furnace was running as well as the TV.Everyone agreed that John definitely deserved to have power on at his home first. We were all so happy for him.
For all the good deeds and taking time to help other people in need we give our love and a big 'THANK YOU' to JOHN WILLIAMS of Metropolis, IL. We feel that John deserves to be recognized as one of WPSD LOCAL 6's 'ICE ANGELS'. He is our "super" ice angel!
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