Retirement community tries to stay warm during power outage

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Seniors living at the Woodlands Retirement Community in Huntington have gone without power and heat for days. It could be several more days before it comes back on.

Staff at the woodlands say they are handling a disaster they’ve never seen before but are doing the best they can. Individual living rooms don’t have electricity, but the common areas do have heat to keep people warm.

Folks living at the Woodlands Retirement Community say their rooms are pretty cold.

“It’s been chilly. Our room is down to 54 degrees,” Ed Rahal, Resident said.

The past two winter storms rolling through the area caused the power to go out and crews haven’t been able to get it fully restored yet.

“It’s difficult because they have such a busy task in front of them and if you notice many of the trucks that are out are third party contractors,” Ron Smith, Director of Food Services said.

The facility does have an emergency generator to provide heat in common areas, like the living room and dining room. So, it gives seniors another option than just hanging out in their chilly room.

“It’s actually kind of interesting. It’s making lemonade out of lemons. They’re all socializing in the lobby in here. We have the fireplaces on. They’re all gathered around there,” Smith said.

Rahal says he doesn’t spend much time in his room anyway, except for when sleeping, but making things work.

“With heavy clothes, staying in bed with a lot of blankets,” Rahal said.

There’s one thing most people can agree on.  

“It’s been an experience, all the years I’ve been living in Huntington, I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this in my life,” Rahal said.

Some of the staff members have spending the night at the retirement home to help seniors who need it.

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