Long Beach Officials and Organizations Work Together to Help Senior Citizens During Power Outage

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City officials speak with Plymouth West Senior Apartments residents. Photo by Asia Morris. 

Long Beach city officials began redirecting resources needed at various senior living facilities affected by downtown’s power outage that began Wednesday afternoon, including providing flashlights, food and emergency transportation.

The city activated its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Thursday morning to help with distributing flashlights, food and water to residents of Park Pacific Towers, where residents on floors 10 and above did not have flushable water, according to Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez.

The CERT volunteers were able to walk up the flights of stairs, deliver water and also determine which sources residents were in need of, such as fire and police units.

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Doctors checking Park Pacific Towers residents. Photo by Asia Morris. 

Fire units were also immediately called to assist one Park Pacific resident who was without a working oxygen tank for three days, Gonzalez said.

“I don’t know how she made it,” Gonzalez stated.

According to the councilwoman, volunteers were in the process of providing lunch to the Park Pacific seniors, and whatever else was needed.

At Plymouth West Senior Apartments on Third Street and Chestnut Avenue, Gonzalez was figuring out what services residents needed to stay safe and healthy.

“I just wanted to come outside to ensure how things were going… because we need these people here to get power right away," she said. "They have medical issues.”

According to one county caretaker for a Plymouth resident, her client, who is confined to a wheelchair, had not received any assistance from city officials before Friday morning.

“If I wasn't working with the elderly man, he could have possibly died,” said Maria Fernandez, who helps out a senior citizen at the Plymouth facility three hours a day.

Friday morning she was heading to the store to get water for her client who, according to Fernandez, was stuck in his apartment because of the inoperable elevators.

Other seniors at Plymouth who were more self-reliant said they planned on riding through the power outage.

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City officials speaking with Plymouth West residents. Photo by Stephanie Rivera. 

“This is a piece of cake,” said Michel Guy, who said he lived through a 30-day power outage in Montreal, Canada, in 1998. It had also been 30 degrees below zero.

However, Guy said the “change in routine” did force him to throw out up to 16 TV dinners, at five dollars each. He said he was able to salvage some of his frozen meat by marinating it in wine and expects the power to be back on when it’s done soaking.

“We really don't have much to complain about. If you are smart enough, you can survive,” Guy said.

Now, Guy just hopes management at Plymouth will let residents use the facility’s grill to make a barbecue.



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