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Crews Check On Seniors Who Decided To Shelter In Place Amid Downtown SMUD Outage

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Day three of the power outage in downtown Sacramento forced thousands to seek shelter or shelter in place as temperatures drop.

CBS13 followed residents who made the decision to stay and learned what was done when it just wasn't safe to do so.

"We recognize it's going to be cold tonight, so we wanted to give them the option to go to these hotels," said Erik Krause with SMUD on Thursday.

As Sacramento Regional Transit buses pulled up, there was confusion inside the Wong Center.

"I have two residents here, so what is the plan?" one person asked.

Translators were brought in to help. Many of the more than 200 who live in this affordable housing complex speak Cantonese or Mandarin and are seniors.

One woman and her husband have lived there a decade after having immigrated from China.

"My husband takes a lot of medicine, so he has to eat," she said.

She was cheerful, showing us her supply of food and how they are getting by given the power outage.

"Water is OK, toilet is OK. I can put the water in here, I can make the hot water," she said.

But not everyone was excited about living in the dark after backup generators went down.

"We have to put little lights everywhere, so she does not trip," Bryan Dorrell said of his fiance's mother, who lives there.

He was concerned about safety and says not everyone is prepared.

"I was at Macy's the other day and there was a resident rice cooking in front of the store to use their outlet," he said.

Elevators are not working, which means the stairs are the only way up and down, and fire alarms were out of order so the City of Sacramento stepped in.

"The city is bringing a fuel truck [to the Wong Center] to refuel the generator which will get emergency lighting and all fire protection systems back up," Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch said.

By noon Thursday, the decision was made to have residents shelter in place if they want to.

"We are checking on people who are non-ambulatory and seeing if they need to be transported by fire department and taken to a warming center or a hospital," said Loesch.

The fire department will be monitoring the situation here until the power is expected to be restored, which will be Friday morning.

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