Tenants at the Sherwood Estates Mobile Home Park in Sooke say they haven’t had power for a week and are worried that’ll continue for nearly a month.
On Easter, Michelle McKay said that power from her mobile home was lost and now, nearly a week later, few answers have been given.
“We really don’t know what to do,” said the resident.
It’s believed the power went out due to rain damage, which is now affecting 10 homes at the park. The lack of power and limited refrigeration has forced many to throw out rotting food and has left them without hot water. Some tenants like the McKay’s are using generators to power basic appliances for limited times during the day, but most nights, they go without power at all.
The cost of using the generators vary between $30 to $100 a day.
McKay says she and other tenants have heard mixed information on the true cause for the delay in power restoration.
“No words from the landlord at all, [nobody’s] given us updates or anything,” said the tenant.
Her husband Dallas is going through kidney failure and lives on dialysis. Normally, she’s able to leave him for the day and go to work, but after six days without power, she’s been forced to stay at home and take care of him — losing out on her vital income.
“It’s very hard for him to be cold and it’s causing a lot of stress and he’s getting sick from this,” said Michelle McKay.
Other tenants are also in dire situations. The McKays say one tenant is pregnant and expecting to deliver soon. Many other senior tenants haven’t had a hot meal in a week.
“A 72-year-old lady, we brought in here yesterday to warm her up — she’s living on Rice Krispies, she’s got a heart condition. Everybody’s food has spoiled,” said Dallas McKay.
Their next-door neighbour, Mike Bidwell, tells CHEK News he’s been forced to get food from a local shelter and hasn’t been able to clean himself for a week.
“I haven’t had a shower in a week, I hate to say,” said Bidwell.
The panels for the homes affected are currently sitting locked away inside a shed, and a new generator that can power the homes sits next to it. The McKays say an engineer told them that a cement foundation must first be built before the generator can be turned on. They say they were told it would take at least two weeks, creating fears of having no power until then.
“We don’t know what to do. Are they willing to leave this group here for a month without power and all of the red tape? Like, is that what’s happening here?” said Michelle.
“They might have some fatalities,” said Dallas.
According to multiple tenants, it’s believed the owner is away for a family emergency in Alberta. One of the owner’s business partners has been on site, but questions to management have been left unanswered.
CHEK News has sent multiple requests to park management to comment on the situation.
On Saturday evening, Sherwood Estates responded to CHEK News after the original story aired. In a statement, the management agency for the park says it’s aware of the issue and is working as fast as possible to remediate the situation.
“We are very aware of the problems here and can assure you as owners, we are doing everything possible to solve the problem,” read an email from Rick Gordon of Sherwood Estates. “The problem here is a broken specialty part.”
He says his company has been trying to source the replacement part but has been coming up short.
“A short-term fix using a smaller breaker was not approved by the provincial energy inspector,” he added. “Accordingly, the only short-term remedy is to secure an oversized generator and hook up the affected homes.”
While the generator is on-site, he says his electricians can’t wire them to the affected residences until BC Hydro does their part. He claims the meters need to be pulled by BC Hydro, and until they arrive, there’s nothing his company can do.
“I certainly feel sorry for the residents, but this is solely the responsibility of the owner,” added BC Hydro communications manager Ted Olynyk.
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