Stacie Testerman lives in York County, about 100 miles west of Philadelphia, and gets her water from a well.
So when her power suddenly went out at 3 a.m. Wednesday -- as it did for several hundred thousand Pennsylvanians last week -- her faucets and toilets stopped working too.
But rather than abandon her home, Testerman thought she'd tough it out by burning wood in the stove and melting snow to make water for flushing the toilet.
Five days later, Testerman and tens of thousands of other Pennsylvanians are still waiting for relief.
"We have chickens, cats & a hotel costs money," Testerman told the Los Angeles Times in an interview over Twitter, after the storm also knocked out her land-line telephone service. "We thought maybe a day without power. This is excessive."
Pennsylvania power provider PECO reported Sunday evening that 42,000 customers were still without power five days after an ice storm brought down tree limbs onto power lines, houses and cars.
The company, which has marshaled 6,100 emergency workers from its own staff and from utilities around the country, said the storm was its second-worst-ever outage disaster, eclipsed only by the effects of Superstorm Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast in 2012.
More than leaving residents shivering beneath blankets and awaiting the return of power, the storm has had highly dangerous aftereffects for homebodies and travelers.
Early Sunday afternoon, a Trident passenger bus "traveling at a speed that was greater than is reasonable" crashed into an embankment on a snowy rural highway in Bedford County in southern Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
Twenty-six passengers, plus the driver, were taken to hospitals in Bedford County and western Maryland for treatment, according to state police, who blamed the driver. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.
Over the course of five days without power, some people have gone to dangerous lengths to keep warm. In Chester County, just west of Philadelphia, 30 people have been hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning, according to one emergency official.
“Unfortunately, there are some people that are being desperate and doing dangerous things like having a charcoal or gas grill in their homes, using their generators inside,” Robert Kagel, the deputy director for the county's emergency management, told The Times. "One guy took a Duraflame log and lit it on fire on his kitchen table."
So what happened to him?
"The gentleman who lit the Duraflame log was not hurt and, fortunately for him, he did not burn his house down," said Patty Mains, spokeswoman for Chester County emergency services.
In Lionville -- also in Chester County -- Kelly Whalen said her power was on when she woke up Wednesday morning. But before she could get out of bed and make coffee, it went out.
"We could hear, constantly, cracking of tree branches falling all around us and the tinkling of icicles in the trees -- which sounds very lovely, but it’s not," Whalen, 37, told The Times in a phone interview.
Whalen's family decided to try staying home that night. She tucked her four children -- ages 16, 12, 9, and 8 -- into bed with all the blankets she could find, and they donned double layers of clothing. Then she and her husband slept by the fireplace to keep it burning all night.
"It got down to 45 degrees in the house by time we woke up Thursday morning," Whalen said. "That’s too much."
The family then decided to drive two hours south to stay with relatives in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where there was “no ice, no snow, no power outages, nothing wrong." Worried about missing school and work, but unsure of when PECO would have the power back on, the Whalens returned home Sunday and found that the lights were working again.
“Now we’re home and everything’s warming up, and we’re just happy to be home," Whalen said Sunday evening.