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Power Out For Days At Oakland RV Park For Homeless Amid Heat Wave

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- The electricity has been out at Oakland's safe RV parking site for the homeless for five days in the middle of a heat wave.

The outage caused a cancer survivor with a heart condition to be without a consistent supply of oxygen.

Gina Shook was staying at the RV park known as Operation HomeBase. Wednesday evening on Day 5 of using her emergency oxygen supply she called for help and was transported via ambulance to Highland Hospital.

"Well, everything was fine until Saturday of this past weekend because the electricity shut off, we're like, okay, what's going on?" Shook said.

Shook is one of 130 homeless people staying at this RV park during the coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the trailers were donated by the state to help curb the homelessness crisis back in January, but as COVID-19 spread, they were reallocated to the city's most vulnerable.

"These are for our seniors our medically vulnerable who we know are most susceptible to the virus," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said at a press conference on May 5th.

Earlier this month, Mayor Schaaf explained why it took four months to get people into these trailers.

"We took the time and expense to actually connect these trailers to sewer and water so they will not only serve us during this pandemic but that they can be used on a longer-term basis," Schaaf said.

Now with a heat wave, the power grid at the RV park appears to be overrun. Shook is worried whether it's safe to come back.

"Well, if I go without oxygen for too long I'll go into respiratory failure and die," Shook said.

The City of Oakland did not respond to requests for comment as of Wednesday evening.

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