Five Days Without Electricity Is Fraying Nerves

Thousands in the San Gabriel Valley were still without electricity Monday night

After five days without power, a lot of people in the San Gabriel Valley are improvising. Some families have started bringing home ice for the freezer, revisiting a technique that was used before electricity was everywhere.

Others are using food as fast as they can, watching some of it go soft and mushy. And some people are just bored.

"We're going to bed like at 6:30 at night because there's nothing to do," says Montrose resident Vickie Lee. "You can't hardly keep your eyes open, it's so pitch dark."

There are 20 dark units at Vickie Lee's apartment complex. They are among close to 20,000 Edison customers who were still without power  for at least part of the day on Monday.

Rina Rodriguez, with a young baby in her arms, is getting frustrated.

"It's horrible," says Rodriguez. "I haven't been able to shower with hot water. There's no refrigerator. There's still no oven. My daughter hasn't been staying with me because of the situation."

That frustration is being compounded when half of a street gets its power back and the other half doesn't.  In South Pasadena, Anne Meeker worries about no heat in the home of her elderly parents, and especially for her sick mother. 

"She's coughing," says Meeker. "The power is not coming back on. Everybody is cold. I can't seem to get them to leave and come up to our house and stay with us."

Edison says it's doing its best. The company hopes to have 99 percent of the power back on by morning. But the powerless apartment dwellers of Montrose say they'll believe it when they see it.

"Each day somebody else got their power back on," says Angela Reed. "We were like, OK, ours is going to be next, we're going to be next, and it still doesn't happen. And now it's five days later and we still have no idea when it's coming back."

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