Local News

Durham resident living without power for more than a year

Posted November 9, 2018 6:04 p.m. EST

— During daylight hours, Ramon Fernandez's mobile home in Durham looks normal.

But as the sun goes down, it’s clear something isn’t right.

“Welcome to my dark world,” he said.

Fernandez said he has been living with no power for more than a year.

He said Duke Energy won't give it to him because his home isn't up to city code.

The main issues, he said, are his stairs and the lack of a covering at the base of the home.

None of that was a problem in Goldsboro, where he used to live, with power, in this same home, he said.

He uses a small lantern during night to see.

“I want to watch TV on my TV, but I don’t have electricity,” he said.

The struggles are endless: Cold showers, an empty fridge, cuts covering his face from shaving with no light.

“A little while ago, I was trying to shave, buy my bathroom was so dark,” he said.

Fernandez estimates it would take $5,000 to get his home up to code. Although he works fulltime, he said he doesn't have that kind of money.

As winter moves in, he prays for a miracle.

“Every now and then, I stand over here and ask the Lord,” he said. “I hope that a miracle comes through, you know?”

Durham city staffers said the contractor who did some of the work on Fernandez’s home was not properly licensed, and that was part of the problem.

The city sent inspectors to Fernandez's home Friday, and officials said it appeared the initial contractor failed to complete work without returning Fernandez's money.

Officials said Fernandez needs a contractor to bring the stairs into compliance and complete the home's underpinnings.