Squirrels cause 3-day power outage at RRHA apartment building


Huge generators had to be brought in after tiny teeth caused some big problems at an RRHA apartment building in Richmond, with mostly senior residents. Power was finally turned back on after three days.

The 200 apartments in the Fay Towers building have had no electricity, since administrators say squirrels ate power wires and caused an outage. Replacement wires needed to be ordered in, so contractors are waiting for the shipment to make permanent repairs, expected Friday.

Resident Priscilla Joy says she's been coping with no light, air conditioning or refrigerator since last Friday.

"It's not good," said Joy in her apartment.

The situation is especially pressing for seniors who need electricity to run medical devices like oxygen respirators. Roy Lundy, 84, uses a medical alarm around his neck, in case he falls.

"It isn't working now," said Lundy.

With no power, Lundy's got no way of calling for help.

"If I fell, I couldn't get up," continued Lundy.

Contractors discovered squirrels had chewed through a plastic cover on a power pole, and nibbled the wires inside. Ultimately, a mega generator brought in from Virginia Beach gave enough electricity to power the entire building.

RRHA Acting Chief Operating Officer Carol Jones-Gilbert says they have been working to fix the power since being alerted to the problem. Jones-Gilbert says security guards are checking on people with medical issues.

"They've been going around checking on all the residents that we know use medical equipment that needs power," said Jones-Gilbert.

RRHA had set up temporary charging stations. However, Lundy's alarm system needs a constant plug. RRHA says they'll accommodate anyone who calls management with a medical need. Anyone who is still having issues, especially medical related, should call RRHA at 804-780-4536.

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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By CapitalBay Online 04/21/2015 20:30:00
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