Repair work leaves Wedgwood Senior apartments without electricity, air conditioning

Management works to keep residents cool in hot weather


SAN ANTONIO – A repair job is the reason hundreds of seniors who live in the Wedgwood Apartments went without air conditioning in their homes on a day when temperatures edged toward the 100-degree mark.

Electricity inside the North Side apartment building was shut off around 9 a.m. Thursday, and was turned back on shortly after 4 p.m., according to Angie Castanon, Wedgwood's regional supervisor.

Castanon said the outage was scheduled to allow a contractor to replace the building's cooling system.

She said heavy rain that flooded San Antonio's roads during the Memorial Day weekend also left the basement of the building underwater, causing damage to its electrical and cooling systems.

Since then, Castanon said, Wedgwood has been using a temporary and costly chilling system.

"It's costing us about $70,000 per week to run that," she said.

As workers with CPS Energy disconnected power to the building Thursday morning, a crew waited to begin work installing a new air conditioning system.

Residents, meanwhile, had to find ways to keep cool.

Jean Clark, who lives on the third floor, ventured outside at a time when the elevators weren't working.

She said the neighbors who may be inconvenienced most are those who use wheelchairs or walkers to get around.

Clark said while she may have regrets tomorrow about climbing the stairs, she has no complaints now.

"We have no power," Clark said, "but they're giving us plenty of ice and they have people running up and down the stairs to take care of people."

Castanon said her company also paid to have charter buses arrive, giving residents a place to cool off. She said meals would be served and movies would be shown on the bus.

"It's like if a hurricane comes through, you have to suffer through it," said W. T. Ward, who also seemed to be taking the news about the outage in stride.

While residents didn't appear to be overly concerned, worried relatives of some of them did contact KSAT 12 News.

She also said a generator would be used, in the meantime, to power all of the buildings elevators.

"But we have asked our residents to use them only in an emergency," Castanon said.

Also about 40-50 people remained in the building all day without electricity. Building staff brought them lunch to their doors.

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