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Residents of senior living community struggle with weekend power outage

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- James Collins said he spent most of his Saturday night and Sunday in the dark, as did hundreds of others at the Temple Heights Manor Senior Housing facility.

"This is a senior citizen place. They need to have more of a priority and the church doesn’t care." Collins said. "You just got a lot of elderly people here that depend on the power. They’ve got a generator that runs one out of the two elevators. There’s no emergency lighting in the hallways. It took me five minutes to find my room the first time because it’s so dark."

Collins said the power went out once around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, came back on for about 15 minutes, and then went out for good around 11 p.m.

He and other tenants said they have been on their own since.

"Nobody is talking or sending help. I went to the church and they said they had the situation under control and that was two hours ago. There’s no power, nobody has been around to even offer assistance to help us," Collins said.

Graceway Church, who manages Temple Heights Manor I and II, said a call was placed to report the power outage at 11:10 p.m.

"No TV, no air. and these people cannot breathe and it just irks me. They are old people, they worked their whole life and they don’t deserve to have to be this way. It’s wrong," Tracy Baker, a resident, said.

KCP&L said senior living communities are high priorities but said they were not aware of the outage until Sunday afternoon. KCP&L said more than 90,000 customers were experiencing power outages at the height of the storm.

"Should start long before a storm because we have the ability, if they let us know what they are doing and what their facility is, then we put them in a special classification just like somebody that’s on oxygen. And we respond to them faster because normally in those situations, people are in more critical shape and need that response," Chris Kurtz, Senior Director of Operations at KCP&L, said.

FOX 4 reached out to Graceway Church, but did not hear back until Monday afternoon. They did leave a note on the lobby door for residents.

Cathy Allie, Pastoral Administrative Assistant with Graceway Church, refuted a resident's claim that management was not on site during the outage, saying in an emailed statement, "Temple Heights has management on site 24/7, and management was fully represented during the power outage Saturday night and throughout the day Sunday."

"Their oxygen only lasts so long and their battery runs down and they have no way to… It’s just wrong. These people need to learn that we lived our life and we worked hard and we don’t deserve to be sitting like this," Baker said.

"You have a problem, you fill out a piece of paper, turn it in, and eventually something will get done but…" Collins said.

FOX 4 was able to reach KCP&L and they sent a crew to fix the power. Power was restored around 5:30 p.m. more than 18 hours after the outage.

Monday afternoon FOX 4 received a statement from Cathy Allie with Graceway Church.

 

Management was in contact with the Red Cross who was unable to offer Emergency Services today because the temperatures were not in a dangerous range. Graceway offered residents of Temple Heights a place to shelter Sunday, particularly for the use of restrooms and water at the church.

Power was restored at Temple Heights at approximately 5:40 p.m Sunday. Graceway appreciates KCP&L's prompt attention to restoring all customers' service under difficult conditions.