By late Monday night, everyone in Cleveland County, North Carolina is supposed to have power back, but for more than 2,000 people, it's been four long days in the dark and cold ever since an ice storm knocked down trees and power lines, and gave the Carolinas a frosty taste of winter.
"We need help. Our community is blocked in and no one can get in or out. No one can get their families in or out without others helping."
Last Thursday's storm and its icy aftermath killed at least five people, several of them by iced-over trees falling on houses. Ice still clung to power lines over the weekend in what a spokesman for Duke Power called the region's "worst ice storm" ever for power outages.
At one point, more than 700,000 people in the Carolinas had no power. Monday morning, that number's down to 200,000 or so with the help of crews from several states.
"Our restoration effort is still going good, but we're scheduled to have the last person on. Our estimate is by Monday evening.”
People without power have to hope so. Monday night’s forecast for the area, once again, calls for freezing temperatures.