Coping Through the Storms

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

It's been a rough few days for many of us, trying to cope with power outages, hot weather and storm damage. We talked with some of hardest hit residents about how they're getting by.

Lesa Altendorf is living her own version of survivor here in Rockford.

"I don't have phone, cable, water, electricity, I don't have nothing," says Lesa.

Altendorf has emptied her fridge, she's showering at a friend's place, neighbors are helping neighbors but there are just certain things you can't get around.

"Flushing your toilet. I've walked in there so many times and said no don't do it because it won't fill back up. We've got wells out here," Lesa adds.

Westside residents say they wouldn't survive without the West Suburban Fire Department, where residents can fill up on as much water as they want. The department has given out thousands of gallons of water over the past few days, but water alone won't help Altendorf's fish. They rely on an electric pump to survive and pet stores are sold out of battery operated ones.

"I mean they're fighting for air, bad," says Lesa.

While life without electricity, water and phones has been tough for Westsiders, some are trying to make the best of it.

"It's something I'm kind of use to. I grew up that way. Hard and rough, you know. We've been cooking on the grill and stuff. I think it's kind of fun," says Kenneth Bard, a resident.

Who knows we could see Bard and his wife Sheryl on the next survivor.

"We're making it. We might have a little frontier in us but it will make it easier for next time," Kenneth says.


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