Photo: Steve Thurston
Executive director asks that families of independent living residents come and take family away if possible.
Residents in Culpepper Garden Apartments have faced the past few days on back-up power, but only two of three generators are working. Temperatures inside the eight-story retirement facility have hit 90 degrees according to residents there. On Sunday, Executive Director Stephen Holmes said the third generator broke and looks like it is irreparable.
The complex is a combination of assisted living units and independent living apartments. The assisted living wing had air conditioning, but residents on the apartment side have not been so lucky. The generators have enough power to run lights and fans, but not enough to run the air conditioners in the units or to run the refrigerators fully.
They also have no elevator or land-line telephones.
Holmes, who was in-between water deliveries to apartments, said that a couple people had been taken to area hospitals. The health problems were weather related, but emergency services are no stranger to this facility. Emergency crews often must treat residents, in bad weather and good.
He said that the apartments really are for independent living, and that staff do not watch the people there like they do on the assisted living side. Still, staff was delivering food and water. He said that it would help him if family members would come by and take some of the elderly home, even if home has no power, just to make sure the people are being watched.
“It’s very difficult, no A/C, no elevators,” said Rosemary Storey a resident who also works at the facility. “We’re desperately hoping that electricity can be turned on here.”
“We have people here with physical handicaps who really are suffering,” she said.
Adelaide Hanretty said she really likes living in Culpepper Garden, excepting the last few days.
“Well those we don’t even talk about. We’d like to forget,” she said. She has no air conditioning and the food in her freezer is starting to soften. She has two fans running, so she’s taking it in stride. She is a glass half-full sort of person.
“I just take it easy,” she said. “I’ve just heard over my FM that it’s only 95 in Washington, so things are looking up, I guess.”
Culpepper Garden is a non-profit facility for people of moderate incomes.