Duke Energy agreed to postpone a planned power outage this week to help a Mt. Airy family stay warm while quarantining with COVID-19.
Two members of the Haap family have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, father Jason Haap said Wednesday. His wife and son are both sick; he has symptoms but has not yet received a positive test result.
Haap said he was dismayed when Duke called them with a warning: Workers would cut their power for eight hours on Thursday or Friday while repairing damaged equipment nearby.
“We don’t want to sit at home and shiver with fevers and no furnace for, you know, who knows how long, but there’s also nowhere for us to go,” he said.
The situation might have been different if the children weren’t learning remotely or if the family could stay with friends, but the Haaps’ quarantine keeps them in one place.
Haap contacted WCPO, which reached out to Duke Energy on their behalf.
Spokeswoman Sally Thelen said the plan had been to replace a utility pole damaged in a recent car crash — but, knowing the Haap family’s situation, the company will postpone the repairs to a later date.
“It is critically important that damaged equipment gets replaced in a timely manner, and we understand the challenges that outages pose during the pandemic with many working or attending school virtually,” Thelen said.
If you have concerns about a planned outage in your area, Thelen recommended contacting Duke Energy a few days in advance to see if the company can help.