Power returns for residents at senior complex who had no heat for 30 hours

Residents at a senior living complex spent at least 30 hours without electricity during a time when temperatures were dangerously low. Power was restored by Monday afternoon, the apartment complex told Channel 9.

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The Eastway Crossing Apartments are on Eastway Drive between North Tryon and The Plaza in Charlotte, where lows hit 13 degrees overnight on Saturday, and several residents say they were without power.

Channel 9 education reporter Jonathan Lowe spoke with a resident off-camera who shared her frustrations.

“It’s been super cold; I had to come out last night and get in my car so I could get warm,” she said.

It’s a brand-new complex built for seniors that opened in December. Residents say at least 40 units lost power on Saturday afternoon, and they were upset by what seems to be a lack of urgency to restore power during one of the coldest times we’ve seen this winter.

“We had no heat from 12:56 p.m. until today, and we still have no heat, and when Duke came out, they were saying there was nothing they could do,” the resident told Lowe. “It’s not their problem anymore; they came out this morning, and they still couldn’t do anything, so what happened is that it’s on the complex.”

A spokesperson with Duke Energy sent Channel 9 this statement about the situation:

“An electrician for the customer asked Duke Energy to cut power to part of the building around 12:45 p.m. today, as it has been experiencing power issues and needs to have a piece of equipment replaced. We are waiting for the electrician to complete the work and have it inspected so we can reconnect power to the complex.”

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Not having heat in the freezing temperatures is a concern for most of the residents, but some rely on medical equipment to function, and others are nervous about food in the fridge going bad. The resident told Lowe that some people in the complex, including herself, use asthma machines.

“It’s people who live here that have those machines, asthma machines,” she said.

She explained that management initially didn’t seem to care about the outage, but they have since arranged for displaced residents to stay in a University City hotel.

“I want them to know that somebody needs to come out and help, or somebody needs to tell us something when it’s going to be fixed, or can they fix it?” she said.

Duke Energy reached back out to Lowe, saying the building has had power issues and needed to have a piece of equipment replaced. They said they were waiting for the electrician to complete the repairs. After that, a crew was sent in to inspect so the power can be reconnected.

Kaci Coleman is the Senior Regional Manager for CAHEC Management Inc., the company that manages the complex, sent in this statement:

“Right now, we are working with the electricians from the construction team and Duke Energy. They believe they have found a manufacturing defect that caused the issue of the power outage. They have ordered a replacement part, and we are told this will be on site tomorrow. As we work through this, our residents have been offered a room at a local hotel. We expect to have all electrical issues resolved tomorrow and residents return home to their brand-new apartments. We are upset this happened to our new community and our efforts will continue to see this through.”

Around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Coleman said power had been restored that day and residents could return to their apartments as soon as they wanted to.

(WATCH BELOW: South Charlotte residents without water for 72 hours, not sure when it will be fixed)