ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) - When you have to rough it with no power for days, it helps having been a Girl Scout, says Mary Bielefeld.
"This is sort of like camping. I've got my cooler and every morning I get some ice bags," said Bielefeld who is spending her sixth day without power.
She been able to cook on her gas stove.. and she's never in need a light. She's got a whole drawer full of matches.
"I have my battery power radio, candles and lots of flashlights," she said.
Every morning, Bielefeld shuts the windows and shades to keep out the hot air and the sunshine; at night, she does the reverse. A neighbor with power let her run a cord for her fan.
"This has saved me! I have thanked them profusely," she said. Mary's keeping her cats, including one who's 20 years old, in the cool darkness of her basement, and she said won't let them outside in the searing heat, as pets are vulnerable to heat stroke and dehydration just as humans are.
The six day outage is an isolated cluster of just five homes plunged into the pre-electric time-warp by a crashing oak tree. which was here long before the power pole it destroyed.
The white oak tree's owner, Lana Hurdle, says the tree has been here 150 to 200 years. She is hoping somebody will come and salvage the wood to make furniture. But she and her husband Robert have been most consumed with trying to beat the heat. They've have been going out to eat, and sitting on their porch a lot.
"We spent last night at friends. Sleeping without air conditioning is kind of old. I'm actually looking forward to going to work because it cool there," said Robert Hurdle.
Two doors down, Jennifer Johnson used new technology to get by when everything else failed. She said she only had $9 in cash left and spent it on gas since the station was not taking credit cards, and neither were local restaurants, she finally turned to her cell phone.
"I remembered my iphone had a Starbucks APP and there was money on it! So I went to my favorite Starbucks. They were my heroes!"