COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — While most people have their power back after this week’s outage, the effects of it are still being felt.
Sabrina Perry just stocked her refrigerator for herself and three growing children a couple days before the power went out. She said between what she got and what she already had cost somewhere between $700 and $800.
“Everything went in the trash,” said Perry. ““Unfortunately, when something like this happens it takes its toll.”
She took pictures of the food at her Linden home as she was preparing to file a claim with AEP. She has since learned it’s unlikely she will be reimbursed.
An AEP Ohio Spokesperson says whether directly or indirectly, the Columbus outages earlier this week were caused by storms.
“When outages are caused by storms, under our approved terms and conditions of service, customers are not eligible to be reimbursed. We recommend they check their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for any lost items,” the company wrote in a statement to NBC4.
Perry is hoping AEP reconsiders.
“Irritating to say the least,” she said.
Columbus City Councilmember Rob Dorans also had to throw out food after he lost power.
“I’m not worried so much about my family,” he said. “We’ll be able to replace the ketchup and mustard and all that kind of stuff but I do worry about a lot of our families here in Columbus that the grocery budgets are tight.”
Earlier in the day Thursday, Dorans was encouraging residents to file claims with AEP. That was before he was also told about losses not being covered.
“I certainly understand they were trying to do the best they could to preserve the grid for a long-term basis, but if their claims policy doesn’t apply now, when does it?” he said. “When you look at what AEP has told us the past several days, how much of an extraordinary event this was and how they took intentional steps to turn power off for folks, [and] their claims policy doesn’t apply . . . it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
You can learn more about the claims process and what is or isn’t covered here.