Power outage during brutal cold upends seniors at Rensselaer housing complex

RENSSELAER – National Grid crews were still working to restore power to the Van Rensselaer Heights Senior Apartment Complex in Rensselaer Monday evening. Residents learned that would have to spend the night at a hotel or with relatives.

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The lights and heat went off just before 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Staff at the senior center scrambled to move the 100 residents to a safe and warm place.

Some seniors went to stay with relatives, while others were taken to the Rensselaer Senior Center. Rensselaer police say around 6:45 Tuesday morning, dispatch was notified that the building had lost power. Rensselaer Mayor Michael Stammel says when National Grid responded, they were not sure if it was a transformer or whether or not it was an underground cable.

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Stammel said the seniors were taken to the senior center, where they received lunch and entertainment. He says the city of Rensselaer has worked with Rensselaer County government to make sure those displaced were taken care of and had a warm place to go.

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NewsChannel 13 reached out to apartment management, but hadn’t heard back as of early Tuesday evening.

Hear one resident discuss how this isn’t the first issue he’s seen at the building, by watching the video of Jonathan Hunter’s story.