Action 13: Power restored to SE Houston apartments days after management unreachable during freeze

Brooke Taylor Image
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Power fully restored to SE Houston apartments days after freeze
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Despite a statement from property owners, residents told ABC13 that management didn't return their calls and the power was only restored after our report.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Management is working to compensate residents at a southeast Houston apartment complex after their power was finally fully restored following Friday's freeze.

Residents at The Park at Sutton Hill lived without power and heat for several days as the Houston area experienced freezing temperatures.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Apartment residents unable to contact management that left them without heat or power in SE Houston

Apartment management confirmed on Tuesday that the power was fully restored, and they're working to give residents cash credit against January's rent amount.

ABC13 also reached out to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who confirmed that the Houston Housing Authority is involved.

Blue Magma Residential, the property owners, sent the following statement:

"The Park at Sutton Hill experienced a power outage this past weekend. A transformer failure caused 3 buildings to be without power on Friday, December 23. Our property team has been on the case with the power company and multiple electricians to diagnose the issue.

Saturday, December 24, the power company reported an outage of the area's substation due to high winds. Our entire community lost power during this time. Power was restored the following morning to all but 12 buildings within our community, inclusive of the 3 that were without power on Friday.

As of today, December 27, power has been fully restored to all buildings. The process involved a high-voltage electrician; thus, the team was not able to get this accomplished over the weekend.

Our property team has been in communication with residents throughout the weekend via emails & text message. We did our best to engage vendors, when one electrician didn't have a part or weren't available on a holiday weekend, we engaged another to help us solve the issue. We understand this event has been difficult for our residents and we apologize that we were not able to do more during this difficult holiday weekend."

Residents dispute the statement, however, and say management didn't return their calls and the power was only restored after the property owners were contacted by ABC13.

"I am diagnosed with breast cancer, and I just moved here last Friday," one woman told ABC13 on Monday. "And this is what I'm getting? Sixty-seven years. We can't bear this at night. This is not right."

SEE ALSO: Tenant frustrated Harris County apartment complex shut off water to prevent pipes from bursting

Paris Palmer and Jacob Gregory have a toddler and had to spend Christmas in the cold.

"We are just cold, trying to stay warm, but it's been terrible," Palmer said. "It's the holidays, and it's terrible being without power."

"My son has been shivering. It's ridiculous," Gregory said.

Bobby Williams said his daughter recently died, and instead of mourning her death, he was left to deal with the conditions.

"This was the love of my life, and I can't even mourn," Williams said. "I had no time. I was in shock when that happened, and then this happened. Look how they are treating us. This is inhumane. "

To make matters worse for the residents, management was reportedly not returning any of their calls, and there was little communication about what was being done to restore power.

RELATED: What CenterPoint is doing to make sure the power stays on during the arctic blast

"Nothing, they aren't even worried about us," Gregory said. "We called the office, the emergency maintenance line. They sent us to voicemail but no one returned our phone calls. They just don't care."

ABC13 reached out to management at the Park at Sutton Hill, but calls went unanswered before Tuesday's update. Our crews were kicked off the property by a security guard who said management told him to tell us to leave.

"Our crews responded to an outage report and determined it was caused by customer-owned equipment. Once the apartments' management repairs their electrical equipment, CenterPoint Energy will be ready to safely restore their power," a spokesperson, spotted inside a CenterPoint truck at the apartment complex, told ABC13.

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