An Akron assisted living and nursing care facility that lost electrical power about 4 a.m. on Friday went nearly a day and a half before full power was restored Saturday afternoon.
Residents and employees at the Ohio Living Rockynol functioned with generator power or partial power from Ohio Edison during the 36-hour outage at the West Market Street complex.
Sue Lacy, an Akron resident whose father lives at the facility, said residents were reduced to one light in their bathrooms and living rooms.
“He was sitting in the dark in his little living room,” Lacy said. “An emergency light in his bedroom [and] an emergency light in his bathroom.”
Rockynol sent out a phone message to its residents’ families on Saturday afternoon about the issue.
“We all received a robocall within the last hour from Rockynol letting us know they are still trying to get Ohio Edison to address the issue,” Lacy said.
Ohio Edison spokeswoman Lauren Siburkis said full power was restored to the Rockynol complex about 2:45 p.m.
Families also received an email less than an hour before full power was restored. In it, Rockynol Executive Director Kara Hanzie said the Assisted Living building had been operating on generator power and was expected to continue to do so “into the week.”
“Ohio Edison has been contacted numerous times to escalate us to a priority,” Hanzie wrote. “At this time, we are running on generator power that will last into the week. Our generator is high powered and we have heat, lighting and the elevator connected to the generator.”
The Rockynol West Market Street campus, on the border of Akron’s Highland Square and Wallhaven neighborhoods, has more than 200 residents in various levels of care: independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care.
Each are located in separate buildings connected by hallways or walkways.
Lacy said before power was restored that she was told the outage was related to storms that swept through the area early Friday. She was concerned that residents might not have heat as temperatures were forecast to drop close to freezing on Sunday night.
“It would seem that a facility where we have seniors who are in a nursing [setting] as well as assisted living that that would be a priority,” Lacy said.
She was unable to reach an Ohio Edison representative about the issue.
“It should be addressed so they don’t have to go through another night in darkness,” Lacy said. “It’s disorienting. They’ve already been through a lot with the pandemic.”
Siburkis said that at the height of the storm early Friday, about 30,000 customers were affected and 93% had been restored to full power on Friday.
She said some power was restored to Rockynol on Friday until the complete fix Saturday afternoon.
“They had partial power yesterday and were fully restored today,” she said. “The high winds in that area of Akron caused a lot of equipment damage.”