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'I'm going to end up in the hospital:' Milwaukee residents with no power fearful of health complications

No power means no oxygen machine for those in need
Milwaukee resident Darcy Buddnauertz sitting holding her inhaler up
Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:42:12-04

MILWAUKEE — It's day three without power for some in Milwaukee, and the situation is becoming very difficult.

Rosa Williams lives on Milwaukee's north side and enjoys working in her yard, but lately it's been taxing.

That's because she relies on oxygen, something she hasn't been able to use for three days due to no power.

"I haven't been worried about it," Williams said. "I just don't think about it, because there's nothing I can do about it."

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Unfortunately, Williams isn't the only one facing this life-or-death situation.

"I have 24-hour oxygen and I've been without it now for two days. Well, this is the third day," said resident Darcy Buddnauertz.

Buddnauertz said she's called numerous places, including emergency dispatch, looking for help.

"The only thing they keep telling me is you have to call an ambulance or 9-1-1," Buddnauertz said. "I'm not going to do that. I don't have the money or finances for that."

Milwaukee resident Darcy Buddnauertz sitting holding her inhaler up
Darcy Buddnauertz sitting holding her inhaler up

So, she's resorted to her only option, using her inhaler.

"It does help, but you can only take them so many times a day, and I know I've been overdoing it," Buddnauertz said.

We also made some calls to different city departments to see what they're doing. The overwhelming response is directing people to cooling centers around the city.

We Energies President Tom Metcalfe said they are working as fast as they can to restore power, and encourage customers to continue to call in, especially if they're in tough situation. Metcalfe expects by midnight Thursday, they will have restored power to about 200,000 customers , leaving 25,000 customers without power. By mid day on Saturday, everyone should have power back on, according to Metcalfe.

But, as crews continue to work, Buddnauertz is worried and is pleading with We Energies to go faster before her condition worsens.

"I know I'm going to end up in the hospital within the next couple of days. I can feel it," Buddnauertz said.

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