Pinellas Co. Vietnam veteran on oxygen thankful to have lights back on

Peter Wenners and his family spent a week in the dark in their Seminole home

SEMINOLE, Fla. (WFLA) – Peter Wenners was one of many Pinellas County residents that were still without power on Sunday morning, despite Duke Energy’s promise to have electricity restored countywide by midnight.

Wenners is a Vietnam Veteran who is confined to a wheelchair and on oxygen. For him, electricity is not just a luxury, it’s a lifeline. “That’s all the oxygen I have left , which is about four,” said Weller as he pointed at the empty bottles of oxygen next to his front door. “And I’m done for. If it doesn’t come on tonight, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Peter and his wife, Dee, have been making do. Dee has been cooking meals on the grill, and the couple’s daughter brought a generator so they could run a room air conditioner and Peter’s electric easy chair.

So when the midnight deadline came and went, Dee became anxious. She went outside the couple’s Seminole home and finally was able to flag down a Duke Energy crew. Workers were already in the area working in that neighborhood. But no sooner did the power come on, but it turned back off. A line feeding the house had been damaged in the storm. Dee now jokes about the ordeal.

“I felt like I was in a Chevy Chase movie. Summer Vacation,” said Dee. “The power goes on…the power snaps …we have a fire in the back. Everything is black again! I’m like, this is not happening.”

Crews returned Sunday afternoon to repair the damaged line and re-restore power to the Wenners’ home. Peter couldn’t be happier.  He’s breathing a sigh of relief.

“Air’s on, I’m happy. These people did a wonderful job. We had a truck full of—a whole line of trucks to help us …to help this one little house.”

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