Inland Empire News
Hemet park residents endure heat wave without power
HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- Frustrated residents at a Hemet mobile home park had no electricity for four days. For most people, the Southern California heat over the past two weeks has been bad enough. Imagine going through that ordeal with no electricity. The mobile home park in Hemet lost power last weekend.
For the past few days, unless you had a generator, you practically had nothing: no lights, no way to make ice, no way to store food. Almost impossible to keep cool.
"It's been so hot, and there's been a lot of people without air here," said resident Will Lewallen.
"He couldn't run his oxygen tanks, we had just gone grocery shopping and all our food spoiled," said Carolyn Lewallen.
And in a mobile home park with about 200 elderly residents, many of whom have health problems and are on fixed incomes, leaving here simply isn't an option.
"Some of them cannot get out and tend to their medical needs, and some of them don't even drive. I don't know how many people this is going to kill," said Hemet resident Terry Spann.
Spann says for those who are stuck, there are other problems: "With no electricity, you have looters."
"I chased a suspect about 50 yards and I ran out of breath, they threw my CDs all over the street," said Will Lewallen.
So what happened? A main breaker reportedly blew up on Saturday.
Mobile-home park manager Larry Boles says he's trying to figure out how to fix the problem.
"It's very frustrating for me, I live here too, and the residents are frustrated and I understand that. But we're doing the best we can and that's just not enough for some of them," said Boles.
Still, as difficult as it is right now, others are trying to stay positive.
"We got hot water, we got flushable toilets, and we got cold showers, and we got a roof over our head. There's a lot of people who don't have what we have," said Hemet resident Sharon Temple.
Management has been dealing with a number of problems while trying to solve the power outage. A portable generator brought in Monday was not powerful enough to give electricity up the complex.
inland empire news, rob mcmillan
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