With temperatures well below freezing and wind chills as low as zero, many people in Lubbock have their heaters cranked up just trying to stay warm.
But people living at the Hickory Tree Apartments on 16th St. and Ave. Q said that they don't have that luxury.
KCBD received phone calls Saturday morning about power being out at the Hickory Tree Apartments overnight.
When KCBD's own reporters went down to investigate, they noticed that some floors of the complex had power while others didn't. Many of the residents, like Dezzarrae Vidles, were huddling in the hallways, saying that they had to sleep in the cold last night.
"We had to sleep with three jackets on," Vidles said. "I have two under. That's how we had to sleep. We had to go to my grandmas to warm up this morning. Just to warm up, I had to go to my truck last night. That's ridiculous."
Vidles said they were without power since around 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
"The maintenance man said he couldn't do nothing," she said. "There was nothing he could do."
"Just because we don't have that much money, or we live low, what about us?" Vidles asked. "What are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to sit here and freeze?"
Another resident, Colleen Johnson, said she slept in the hallway under a light because her room was too cold.
"I can't live like this," Johnson said, wiping tears from her eyes.
Johnson said that for her, having power means life or death because of her health.
"I'm on oxygen and stuff, and that's very very important to me because I can die," she said.
Johnson said the residents have been trying to get a hold of management to tell them about the situation.
"We just called them and they said that they're going to send some people out here, but they ain't doing nothing," she said.
The manager, William Prince, initially declined KCBD's request for an interview but later issued this statement:
"The management of Hickory Tree received a call about 12:30 last night that a part of the electric was out on some of the units. We immediately deployed a maintenance crew to fix the problem. Lubbock Electric was nice enough to open their business for us at 1:30 in the morning so we could buy supplies. We continued to monitor our situation until early this morning and throughout today. As of 3:30 all electrical systems are still working properly and everyone has heat.
We took over the property a year ago and since that time we have spent over 100,000 improving the residents quality of life. We installed all new heaters and air conditioners in every room several months ago. We have installed lots of ceramic tile flooring and put in a security fence around the community and much more. We are very proud of our accomplishments and look forward to more improvements to the downtown Lubbock area.
Hickory Tree Management"
KCBD called Vidles to confirm that the statement was true. She said, "I don't know what you guys did, but we all have power now. Thank you."
Follow this story as it develops on the web and on the air with KCBD Channel 11.
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