JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Residents of an Avondale apartment complex said some of their units have been without power since Tropical Storm Elsa.
It's been almost one week since some of the residents at Amelia Apartments lost power, and they said it’s taking a toll.
“There are people just sitting in here suffering,” said Travis Willbanks, who has been a resident at the apartments for five years.
At this time, there’s no telling when power will be restored.
“Can’t sleep at night,” said Aaron Smith, who also is without power.
Smith said he and his 60-year-old mother prepared for the storm, but at this point, food has spoiled as their cooler and fridge are no longer cold.
Lafayette Management, which manages the Amelia Apartments, offered residents numerous reimbursements for their troubles.
Management said it’s offering residents $30 food vouchers per day, along with a $70 voucher to reimburse for a hotel stay until power is restored.
Not everyone can afford to stay in a hotel for various reasons.
Wilbanks said he can’t afford to put money upfront for a hotel for nights on end waiting to be reimbursed.
Smith said he can’t take his two cats to a hotel, so he needs to stay in his apartment as well.
An email from Lafayette Management to residents on July 9 states they are waiting on JEA to restore power.
“Our team along with the help our electrician and plumber were able to resolve the situation,” Lafayette Management said in an email to residents on July 9. “We've contacted JEA and have asked them to come out tomorrow to restore the power.”
JEA told First Coast News Wednesday morning that Lafayette management still needs to repair critical equipment before JEA can restore power to the building safely.
“We have been in contact with the apartment management in an effort to restore power to the residents as quickly and safely as possible,” JEA said in a statement. “The management is aware of the critical repairs that are necessary for us to deliver power to the building safely. The first step is for the apartment management is file the permit requests to begin repairs to their equipment. We are ready to support power restoration once the necessary work is completed.”
Wednesday afternoon, Lafayette Management provided First Coast News permits that were approved shortly after JEA’s statement.
The permits are for electricians to be able to proceed with repair work needed before JEA can safely restore power.
While residents wait, Lafayette Management said it will be reimbursing residents July’s rent, along with allowing them to break their leases early if they would like.
Lafayette Management states the building is historic, which is why it is prone to issues.
“This is a historic and beautiful building in the Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville and while a great building overall, it is historic and comes with some issues not found in newer constructions,” Lafayette Management said in a statement. “When the recent storm hit Jacksonville, the basement of the building flooded and as a precaution, JEA understandably cut the power to the downstairs units to avoid any potential issues and hazards.”
Management goes on to say, “Our team is working around the clock to get this resolved as soon as possible. With the permits approved, we are hopeful that the meters will be replaced shortly and that power will be restored within a few days.”