Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough ALF without power since Irma despite pleas for help, its director says

The Stone Ledge Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care center in Thonotosassa has been without power since Sunday when Hurricane Irma passed through, its executive director said late Wednesday. [Stone Ledge Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care website]

The Stone Ledge Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care center in Thonotosassa has been without power since Sunday when Hurricane Irma passed through, its executive director said late Wednesday. [Stone Ledge Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care website]

THONOTOSASSA –– An assisted living facility full of elderly patients has been without power since Sunday, despite repeated calls for assistance, its executive director said late Wednesday.

The Stone Ledge Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care center houses 58 residents and has had difficulty keeping them cool, said executive director Sue Garcia.

"We have no power. We have no air conditioner" Garcia said. "We have dark hallways. I have families bringing us generators."

Paramedics took three patients to the hospital Wednesday after the center called 911 for help, Garcia said.

Hillsborough County emergency management said Wednesday at 8 p.m. that it didn't know that patients were in the center and that they could have been transferred to other facilities with power, spokeswoman Megan Danner said.

The county contacted the state Department of Health and was sending sheriff's deputies to check on the facility late Wednesday, Danner said, adding: "We haven't got confirmation that they don't have power."

Florida is grappling with nursing homes and other living facilities that have been without power since Hurricane Irma passed over the state. Eight elderly patients died Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which was without air conditioning.

Garcia said that the county and Gov. Rick Scott's office know the center has no power because she has made repeated calls since Sunday for help. The governor's office, Garcia said, held conference calls with assisted living facilities to tell them they would be the first priority if Hurricane Irma knocked out power.

"They told me there are more than 1,000 centers who are ahead of us on the list with higher priorities," Garcia said.

"Utility companies and local governments determine the order of power restoration," the governor's office said in a statement late Wednesday. "We have been in constant contact with hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities to make sure that everyone is safe. We've dispatched the Department of Health and law enforcement has responded to help these individuals. Safety is the governor's top priority and all health care facilities must do everything possible to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of those in their care."

At 9:15 p.m., Danner said county and state workers were at the center evaluating patients, and that the state Department of Health was taking control of the situation. She said the facility does not want to move patients.

Many of the facility's patients have dementia or other memory issues, Garcia said. The center is a lower priority because the patients are not sick or fighting illnesses, Garcia said.

"The problem is they don't know they're dehydrated," Garcia said. "We're hydrating them every 30 minutes. I am making sure my patients are being taken care of."

As hours passed by without power, several worried family members picked up patients to take them home or to other locations with electricity and air conditioning, Garcia said.

Bob McCommons of Tampa said he learned on Facebook Wednesday evening that the center did not have power. He said he worried about his 96-year old father Robert and immediately took a generator to the center so staffers could light the lobby and a hallway.

"The residence halls are black and hot," he said. "It's kind of bad. This is kind of disconcerting."

McCommons, who said his father has lived at the center for three years, praised the staff for doing their best to care for residents in the stifling heat without electricity.

"She couldn't get help," McCommons said about Garcia. "Nobody will listen to her."

Contact Mark Puente at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2996. Follow @MarkPuente

Hillsborough ALF without power since Irma despite pleas for help, its director says 09/13/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.