KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than 50 local senior citizens have been forced to leave their homes and are searching for answers as to why. On Monday afternoon, those living at Curls Manor near Swope Parkway and Blue Parkway got a knock on the door, telling them to evacuate immediately.
Beatrice McKinzy is a 60-year-old grandmother who values her independence. Four years ago, she moved into Curls Manor soon after it first opened.
“Everybody’s friendly and watched out for each other and stuff,” McKinzy said.
But this week, as many in Kansas City lost power, the building went dark.
“Next thing I know, they were knocking on the door, maintenance man knocking on the door. They said we had to get out,” McKinzy said.
The smoke alarms were sounding, but there was no sign of a fire. The building’s residents, all 55 and older, were confused.
“I’m like, ‘But why? I don’t want to go,’ and they said you have to go, but they never told us what was really going on,” McKinzy said.
She was able to go back later and get clothes and medicines she needs to live, but McKinzy said the property manager hasn’t been answering questions.
“That’s not cool. We in a crisis,” she said.
She called Evergy and FOX4. It turns out Curls Manor is owned by Brinshore Development, which told us a switch gear blew out around the same time of Monday’s rolling power outages.
Brinshore and its nonprofit partner have offered a hotel room and food to any residents without a place to stay, but McKinzy and her neighbor Sharon said the company could’ve better communicated what’s happening.
“It’s a scary situation. You’ve got all your belongings in there and don’t know when you can get back in,” Sharon said.
Brinshore is working to get generators set up and get power flowing while more permanent electrical repairs are made. The company is hoping residents can return early next week.
After the problems, though, McKinzy isn’t sure she’ll go back.
“Who is to say that it’s safe to stay in there? I don’t want to stay in there. I don’t,” she said.
The building’s owners don’t know yet what caused the electrical failure. But because the apartments are fairly new, they’re working with the contractor to determine if anything wasn’t properly installed or connected during construction.
In a statement, Evergy said:
“The outage at Curls Manor apartments was caused by the customer’s equipment failure. This customer was not part of emergency outages required by the Southwest Power Pool on Monday & Tuesday.
“The customer is facing delay in getting needed parts to make repairs. Evergy’s team has worked with apartment management to come up with solution to provide electricity to part of facility until the customer can have permanent repairs made. We understand apartment management working with an electrician for a generator until permanent repairs can be made.
“Once repairs are made, a city inspection will also be needed. Evergy crews will be ready to restore power as soon as it is safe to do so and once the inspection has been completed.”