Palm Harbor assisted living facility residents hot after going days without power or AC

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — Residents of a Palm Harbor assisted living facility are preparing to spend a fifth night in darkness and without central conditioning following Hurricane Irma.

“Without the power, of course, the building has become warm,” said Administrator Sheila Kynion.

But coolness is coming. Additional portable air conditioners and generators to run them are in place at the Highland Lakes Assisted living facility.

Temperatures inside have climbed steadily for the 75 residents. One reports an indoor temperature of 83 degrees.

“We have been, of course, passing ice water in the facility, we have fans going. We have spot coolers in place” said Kynion.

Duke Energy promised a fix, soon.

“What they tell us is that three to five days is the priority. However, we’re disappointed that we have not got power on, today is day five,” said Kynion.

Pinellas County crews added cooling capability to the facility. They are supplementing six heavy-duty “spot coolers” that Highland Lakes rented to keep residents comfortable.

Elaine Campoli said her 97-year-old mother is doing just fine.

“My mom, you know, all the women usually wear sweaters every day, because of the air conditioning. Well, they’re not wearing sweaters, but they’re feeling the weather is fine inside, they’re having some activities” said Campoli.

Duke had promised the administrator the juice would be on by noon. That didn’t happen.

“I am frustrated and disappointed that they have not got the power on yet because I thought with assisted living that we would have been a little bit more of a priority,” said Sheila Kynion.

Some people have picked up residents and brought them to their homes, provided they have power at their homes.

8 On Your Side contacted Duke Energy. A spokesperson said the Highland Lakes Assisted Living Facility didn’t appear on an Emergency Operations Center list of priority sites.   After 8 On Your Side got involved, it is now.

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