Frustration builds for staff and family members of people stuck in nursing homes without power

Family members worried about safety

PALM HARBOR, Fla. - The administrator for Highland Lakes Assisted Living St. Mark Village says Duke Energy guaranteed their power would be back on by noon Wednesday, but so far, it hasn't happened.

“I am frustrated and disappointed that they have not got the power on yet for us,” Sheila Kynion an administrator at Highland Lakes Assisted Living Facility St. Mark Village said. “Because, I thought with assisted living we would have been a little bit more of a priority to them.”

Some family members of patients told ABC Action News off camera the facility should’ve had a better emergency plan in place. One man telling ABC Action News his elderly father’s room temperature got as high as 83 degrees. Kynion said the average temperature they are seeing is between 77 and 79 degrees.

Pinellas County delivered more fuel, generators, and mobile air conditioning units to the facility late Wednesday afternoon.

“We are doing everything we can to keep our residents safe and calm and cool,” Kynion said.  “We are passing ice water in the facility. We have fans going, spot coolers in place, that is helping the situation.”

Some residents were moved to another facility that didn't lose power. Others were picked up by family members. Roughly 60 residents decided the power being out wasn’t a big deal and decided to stay in their homes.

We spoke to Elaine Campoli outside the facility who told ABC Action News her mom decided not to leave.

“She is doing very well,” Campoli said. “She just turned 97 and she is doing great. Other than the fact that they don't have power, that's it. And, she's not wearing her sweater anymore because of the air conditioner they've been comfortable.”

Duke Energy said they are checking on when the power will be restored.  

Meanwhile, resident’s family members hope the power is restored as soon as possible to protect their loved ones from any further stress or harm.

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