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Family without power for two weeks; wants company allegedly at-fault to pay

Posted at 9:17 PM, Oct 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-01 13:44:56-04

VAN BUREN County, Mich. -- Holly Hooper and her family have been without power since October 15th.
They've relied on a generator ever since, and it's all because of someone else's mistake.

"A truck had came down our road. The power lines were hanging low. It snagged our power line and kept going," Hooper said.

Three homes near Bangor lost power on 34th Avenue. Hooper said the utility company, Indiana-Michigan Power Company, came out and restored electricity to everyone's home except hers.

"They couldn't fix our power because the pole was out of the ground, and the boxes were destroyed," Hooper explained.

She said the equipment was destroyed by the truck. Hooper works third shift, so she was home when it happened.
Her mother, Laurie Brown said the utility told her the broken power pole and power box are her property, and she'd
have to get them replaced before the power company is able to connect the new line.

To make matters worse, the family had to rent a generator for a thousand dollars after theirs broke down.
While they conserve, Hooper said gas costs about $30 a day.

They don't have running water, and food in the fridge had to be thrown out. She said they borrowed several hundred dollars to replace the power pole
and power box and had it installed last Saturday. Now they're just waiting on the utility company.

"They told us that we didn't need an inspector to come out and inspect our pole," Hooper said.

She said Thursday she was told she does need an inspection. That will cost $75 dollars, and Hooper learned it will cost another $300 to set up a new account (since the box was destroyed).

Hooper said, "I'm a single mom. I work about 7 days a week, a hour away. It's hard to leave my kids at night knowing that we have no power."

Neighbors in the area say the truck in the neighborhood that day that hit the lines was from R + L Carriers, based in Ohio.
Hooper said she's placed multiple calls to the trucking company.

"R and L Carriers hasn't called us back," Hooper said.

She explained, "My mother called them, and they said that they would turn [the trucker] around so that he could file a report. That never happened, and they never called us back."

FOX 17 called the trucking company, left multiple messages, and was told to expect a call back.
Until then, Hooper wants the trucking company to know it needs to take responsibility.

"There are children involved, and it's not fair to the children," Hooper said.

FOX 17 also spoke with the utility company and was told an inspection is needed for safety reasons. The representative
said she didn't know, however, if this was communicated any earlier than Thursday.

Hooper said it wasn't.

Check back with FOX 17 for updates on this story.