Portland Housing Authority says it's helping Franklin Towers residents without power

·2 min read

Aug. 30—Portland Housing Authority officials said Tuesday that they are scrambling to help accommodate Franklin Towers residents whose apartments have been without power since Friday and may be without for as long as two weeks.

Electricity to rooms in the seventh through 16th floors of the Cumberland Avenue building went out during a thunderstorm Friday afternoon and officials say it could take a week or two to get the part that's needed to fix the problem.

The outage has affected apartments in the building, but power remains on in the hallways and the elevators and safety alarms still have power and are working. Residents have been provided extension cords providing electricity from hallway receptacles, but that's intended primarily for running refrigerators so residents' food won't spoil.

The authority said late Tuesday its electrical contractors have come up with a "potential temporary solution" that will restore power to two or three outlets in some apartments as early as tomorrow. They said that patch would be limited to apartments on a few floors and they couldn't immediately say how many floors and how soon power to apartments on other floors might be restored.

The authority also said that a temporary fix to restore all power to all the affected apartments could begin as early as this weekend and said it has located a replacement for the "bus bar" that failed on Friday. The replacement part is in New Mexico and housing authority said it has made arrangements for delivery, but it could still be one or two weeks before the replacement is installed. A bus bar is a metallic strip or bar used for local power distribution.

The Housing Authority also said it is bringing in food to provide three meals a day for residents of the high-rise, which provides apartments for the elderly and disabled. It has also made microwave ovens available in common areas of the building and residents in affected apartments are getting grocery gift cards, although officials couldn't immediately say whether they could arrange transportation for residents to stores.

Authority officials also said they are making accommodations for residents who need to charge or use devices for medical conditions and making individual needs assessments.

One resident said Monday that she was told she couldn't charge an electronic pad which sends information on her medical condition to her doctors three times a week, but the authority said Tuesday it is allowing residents to charge such devices and would also arrange for hotel rooms for residents if their medical needs couldn't be addressed with power from an extension cord to their apartment.

The authority couldn't say definitively that the storm caused the part to fail, although the power outage coincided with the strong thunderstorm.

This story will be updated.